Individuals with recurrent ankle sprain demonstrate postural instability and neuromuscular control deficits in unaffected side

  • Jin Hyuck Lee
  • Soon Hyuck Lee
  • Gi Won Choi
  • Hae Woon Jung
  • Woo Young JangEmail author



To compare proprioception, postural stability, and neuromuscular control between patients with mechanical laxity and recurrent ankle sprain.


Among 86 patients with ankle instability, 45 patients had mechanical laxity (mean age 27.2 ± 7.0 years) and 41 had recurrent ankle sprain (mean age 25.1 ± 9.2 years). Both the affected and unaffected ankles of each patient were evaluated. Proprioception and neuromuscular control tests were conducted using an isokinetic machine, and postural stability was tested using a postural stabilometry system.


Proprioception was not significantly different between the unaffected or affected ankles of the mechanical laxity group compared with those of the recurrent ankle sprain group (n.s). Static and dynamic postural stability and neuromuscular control were similar in the affected ankles between the two groups (n.s). However, postural stability (static, overall: p = 0.009, anterior–posterior: p = 0.028, medial–lateral: p = 0.022; dynamic, overall: p = 0.012, anterior–posterior: p = 0.004, medial–lateral: p = 0.001) and neuromuscular control (inversion: p = 0.031, eversion: p = 0.039, dorsiflexion: p = 0.029, plantarflexion: p = 0.035) were significantly decreased in the unaffected ankles of the recurrent ankle sprain group compared with those of the mechanical laxity group.


The unaffected ankles of the recurrent ankle sprain group showed significant decreases in both postural stability and neuromuscular control compared with the mechanical laxity group. Clinicians and therapists should consider unaffected ankle rehabilitation in patients with recurrent ankle sprain to prevent future sprain events.

Level of evidence

Case–control study, III.


Mechanical laxity Recurrent ankle sprain Proprioception Postural stability Neuromuscular control 



This research was supported by the NRF grant funded by the Korea government (NRF-2018R1C1B6005202).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The institutional review board of the Korea University Anam Hospital approved this study (No: ED17143).


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Copyright information

© European Society of Sports Traumatology, Knee Surgery, Arthroscopy (ESSKA) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jin Hyuck Lee
    • 1
  • Soon Hyuck Lee
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gi Won Choi
    • 2
  • Hae Woon Jung
    • 3
  • Woo Young Jang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Sports Medical Center, Korea University College of MedicineAnam HospitalSeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Orthopedic Surgery, College of MedicineKorea UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsKyung Hee University Medical CenterSeoulSouth Korea

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