Study Design: A comparative study. Objectives: To assess whether in subjects with unilateral chronic ankle instability the dynamic reaction time of the affected ankle differs from the healthy ankle and from ankles of a control group. Background: Reaction time is an essential element in joint protection against sudden unexpected excessive movement requiring fast and coordinated muscle action. During a sudden ankle inversion movement, a reflex action of the evertor muscles is needed to counteract the movement. Adequate neuromuscular response is crucial and a delayed response could contribute to inversion trauma and subsequently to chronic ankle instability. The isokinetic dynamometer acceleration time (ACC-TIME) provides valuable information on dynamic neuromuscular ability. Material and Methods: Patients with unilateral chronic ankle instability (n = 11) and healthy individuals in a control group (n = 11) were tested on an isokinetic dynamometer during 3 sets of 3 reciprocal inversion/eversion movements of both ankles at 30°/s and 120°/s. Analysis of variance models were used to compare the ACC-TIME of the affected ankle to the unaffected ankle of the same subjects and a control group. Results: For the evertor muscles at 30°/s and 120°/s a significantly prolonged ACC-TIME was found when comparing the affected ankles to the contralateral ankles and both ankles of the control group. For the invertor muscles at 120°/s a significantly prolonged ACC-TIME was found when comparing the affected ankle to the unaffected ankles of patients and those of the control group. Conclusions: Because the most important evertor muscles are innervated by the fibular nerve, the significantly prolonged ACC-TIME of the affected ankle is consistent with the finding of a lower motor nerve conduction velocity of the fibular nerve after inversion trauma. The results support the concept of a delayed neuromuscular response as an important factor in the etiology of chronic ankle instability.

Ankle instability, Fibularis muscles, Isokinetics, Neuromuscular response
dx.doi.org/10.2519/jospt.2006.2160, hdl.handle.net/1765/69237
Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy
Department of Orthopaedics

van Cingel, R.E.H, Kleinrensink, G.J, Uitterlinden, E.J, Rooijens, P.P.G.M, Mulder, P.G.H, Aufdemkampe, G, & Stoeckart, R. (2006). Repeated ankle sprains and delayed neuromuscular response: Acceleration time parameters. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 36(2), 72–79. doi:10.2519/jospt.2006.2160