||Cordova, M. L., Scott, B. D., Ingersoll, C. D., & LeBlanc, M. J. (2005). Effects of ankle support on lower-extremity functional performance: A meta-analysis. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 37(4), 635-641.
||Background: Even though external ankle support such as ankle bracing and adhesive tape have been used to prevent ankle injuries, its negative impact on lower-extremity functional performance has been argued among professionals in the sports medicine community. Studies that assessed the effects of ankle supports on lower-extremity functional performance tasks have reported inconsistent results.
Objectives: To conduct a meta-analysis on studies addressing the effects of various external ankle stabilization devices on lower-extremity functional performance.
Search Strategy: The authors conducted computerized searches of the following databases: MEDLINE, Sports Discus, cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health (CINAHL), and Dissertation Abstracts. In addition, reference checks for the selected studies and a review of the abstracts in the supplements of the following journals were conducted: Journal of Athletic Training and Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.
Selection criteria: The authors included studies on recreationally active people or competitive athletes that were published in peer-reviewed journals, doctoral dissertations, and master’s theses between 1972 and 2002. The selected studies contained the following: (a) use of either tape, semirigid bracing, or lace-up bracing for ankle stabilization; (b) a control group or control treatment; (c) measurement of either vertical jump, straight-ahead running speed, or agility; (d) means and standard deviation or standard error; and (e) the number of participants.
Data collection and analysis: Measurements of vertical jump height, sprint performance, or agility performance(s) were used as dependent measures, and the independent variable was the type of ankle stabilization device. The standard effect size was calculated for each test condition, and > .20 was considered substantial.
Main results: A total of 17 studies were included in the analysis. The authors reported the effects of three ankle supports (tape, lace-up, and semirigid) on the three performance measures (sprint speed, agility speed, and vertical jump height). The most significant effect size was a negative effect of lace-up ankle support on sprint speed (-0.22, 90% CI of -0.47-0.03), which shows a decrease in running speed compared with the control condition.
Conclusions: More research is needed, as the effects of external ankle support on lower-extremity functional performance are still unclear.