BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE
Ankle sprains are among the most common musculoskeletal injuries observed in competitive athletes. The prevalence of ankle sprain ranges from 11.9 to 15.3%. Many risk factors have been associated with ankle sprains, including a history of previous ankle sprain, limited ankle-dorsiflexion range of motion, lack of static and dynamic warm-up before activity, increased talar curvature, failure to use an external ankle support prophylactically, poor proprioception, and impaired balance. The primary aim of this study was to prospectively determine whether reduced baseline hip strength (hip abduction) predicted future non-contact lateral ankle sprains.
210 male soccer players aged 14-34 years from Isfahan soccer clubs (a premier soccer club league) were invited to participate in this study. In the preseason, bilateral isometric hip abductor strength was assessed using a handheld dynamometer. The hip was abducted to 30 degrees, and the dynamometer pad was placed 10 cm proximal to the lateral femoral epicondyle. The participant then abducted the hip with maximum effort into the dynamometer pad for 5 seconds against manual resistance three times.
Physical examination by the team physician confirmed all ankle sprains (specifically whether lateral, medial, or syndesmotic) immediately after injury, and patient recall within 48 hours of injury was used to determine the injury mechanism. Of the 210 players originally enrolled in the study, 25 were removed from the final analyses as they sustained a contact ankle sprain or had an inconclusive mechanism of injury.
A total of 45 ankle sprains were sustain by 45 players during the season. 25 (56%) were non-contact and 20 (44%) were contact. The annual incidence of non-contact lateral ankle sprains was 11.9% (25 of 210 players). Athletes with an