Lateral ankle injury incidence rates are very high in the sport of basketball, with a significant proportion occurring during rebounding. Ankle braces are often used as preventative and rehabilitative techniques in the hope of minimizing the likelihood of experiencing excessive ankle inversion. This study aims to evaluate the effect of different ankle braces in preventing ankle inversion during a basketball rebounding task. Sixteen subjects participated in the study (11 males, 5 females; mean age = 26.94 years, SD = 5.32; mean height 1.72 m, SD = 0.08; mean weight 73.95 kg, SD = 13.68). Participants performed a simulated rebounding task in multiple braced conditions: unbraced (UB), Ossur Formfit (OF), Talarmade Ankleguard Air/Gel Stirrup (TAG) and Bauerfeind Malleoloc (BF). Ankle and foot inversion angles, ankle inversion moments and peroneus longus EMG activity were recorded and analysed to determine the effectiveness of each condition to resist inversion. All braced conditions reduced ankle and foot inversion angles compared to UB. In the non-dominant limb, OF showed reduced maximum ankle inversion compared to BF (non-dominant mean difference = 0.630°, p < 0.001) and reduced foot inversion compared to TAG (non-dominant mean difference = 0.966°, p = 0.035). Compared to UB, OF and TAG increased ankle inversion moments in the dominant ankle and showed decreases in the non-dominant ankle. BF reduced mean peak peroneus longus EMG activity compared to all other trials. Whilst statistically significant differences that were demonstrated between several braced conditions are relatively small, they are clinically significant knowing that the maximum barefoot inversion whilst standing is less than 17 degrees.
- Ankle brace