Do exercise therapies restore the deficits of joint position sense in patients with chronic ankle instability? A systematic review and meta-analysis

Review written by Dr Chris Bleakley info

Key Points

  1. In the current literature, proprioception is most commonly assessed using joint positional sense (JPS) errors.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Lateral ankle sprain can lead to chronic ankle instability (CAI), which is characterized by pain, subjective instability, and recurrent injury. CAI’s aetiology is multifaceted, but sensorimotor deficits are thought to be important, and patients with CAI often present with altered proprioception.

In the clinical literature, proprioception is usually quantified using the joint position reproduction test. In this test, patients are given a predefined target angle (e.g. 30º of ankle inversion), which they then try to reproduce, either actively or passively. The absolute difference between the initial target angle and patient’s reproduced angle, represents their joint positional sense (JPS) error. It is likely that significant JPS error leads to excessive inversion and lateral plantar loading during athletic tasks, increasing the risk of recurrent sprain.

Therefore, in this meta-analysis, the authors examined if exercise therapy can enhance JPS in patients with CAI.

Lateral ankle sprain can lead to chronic ankle instability, which is characterized by pain, subjective instability, and recurrent injury.
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Whilst closed chain balance exercises are important in initial rehabilitation, it is important they are progressed to fully reflect the mechanics underpinning an ankle sprain.

METHODS

This systematic review and meta-analysis followed PRISMA guidelines and included a comprehensive electronic search of seven databases. The authors included studies that had used the Joint Position Reproduction test to compare JPS in CAI patients before and after exercise therapy,

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