Comparison of the effect of semi-rigid ankle bracing on performance among injured v. non-injured adolescent female hockey players

  • TJ Ellapen
  • N Acampora
  • S Dawson
  • J Arling
  • C van Niekerk
  • HJ van Heerden


Objective. To determine the comparative proprioceptive performance of injured v. non-injured adolescent female hockey players wearing an ankle brace.
Methods. Data were collected from 100 high school players who belonged to the Highway Secondary School Hockey League, KwaZulu- Natal, via voluntary parental informed consent and player assent. Players completed an injury questionnaire probing the prevalence and nature of hockey injuries (March - August 2013). Subsequently, players completed a Biodex proprioceptive test with and without an ankle brace. Probability was set at p≤0.05.
Results. Twenty-two players sustained ankle injuries within the 6-month study period (p<0.001). Injured players performed similarly without bracing (right anterior posterior index (RAPI) 2.8 (standard deviation (SD) 0.9); right medial lateral index (RMLI) 1.9 (0.7); left anterior posterior index (LAPI) 2.7 (0.9); left medial lateral index (LMLI) 1.7 (0.6)) compared with bracing (RAPI 2.7 (1.4); RMLI 1.8 (0.6); LAPI 2.6 (1.0); LMLI 1.5 (0.6)) (p>0.05). However, bracing improved the ankle stability of the non-injured group (RAPI 2.2 (0.8); RMLI 1.5 (0.5); LAPI 2.4 (0.9); RMLI 1.5 (0.5)) compared with their performance without a brace (RAPI 2.5 (1.0); RMLI 1.8 (0.8); LAPI 2.8 (1.1); LMLI 1.8 (0.6)) (p<0.05).
Conclusion. Ankle bracing did not enhance the stability of injured ankles. However, ankle bracing has an ergogenic effect that enhances the stability of healthy ankles.

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eISSN: 2078-516X
print ISSN: 1015-5163