Effects of a semi-rigid ankle brace on ankle joint loading during landing on inclined surfaces

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Ankle bracing is commonly used to prevent ankle sprain occurrences. The present study investigated the effects of a semi-rigid ankle brace on the ankle joint complex during landing on inclined surfaces. Seventeen recreational athletes performed a single leg landing task onto three different surface alignments (everted, neutral, inverted), with and without the brace. Ground reaction forces (GRF), kinematics, and brace pressure were recorded. Six two-way repeated measures MANOVA tested for differences in GRF, talocrural and subtalar kinematics and kinetics. Participants landed with a significantly less plantar flexed (P < 0.001) and more everted (P = 0.001) foot during the braced condition. Although no differences were observed for the joint moments, an increased subtalar compression force (P = 0.009) was observed with the brace. Landing on the inverted surface resulted in significantly higher peak magnitudes of the vertical and the mediolateral GRF and the talocrural inversion moment compared to landing on the neutral surface. Ankle bracing altered ankle kinematics by restricting the ROM of the ankle joint complex. This study confirmed that landing on inverted surfaces may increase the risk for lateral ankle ligaments injuries. The significantly higher subtalar compression force during the brace condition might contribute to overuse injuries.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Biomechanics
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)46-56
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Ankle brace
  • ankle joint
  • brace contact pressure
  • inverse dynamics
  • kinematics
  • landing


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