The effects of ankle bracing on lower extremity kinematics and kinetics during deep squats and jump landings in females
Christopher, Gary Alan
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Females are at greater risk of sustaining injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) than males. Numerous risk factors have been identified, including ankle taping. The purpose of this research was to assess the effects of ankle taping and bracing on knee and ankle kinematics during deep squats and knee kinematics and kinetics during reactive drop landings. Eight healthy athletic female participants performed motion trials under three bilateral bracing conditions: untaped, closed basketweave ankle taping, and Webly® ankle orthoses. Participants performed deep squats to determine the effects of bracing on ankle and knee range of motion. Participants performed drop-jumps from their maximum jump height; upon landing, participants moved to the right, left, or stood up. Video and ground reaction force data were collected simultaneously at 60 and 240 Hz, respectively. Segment kinematics were derived from video data; segment kinetics were computed using inverse dynamics. Deep squat dependent variables were ankle and knee range of motion and were analyzed using single-factor (bracing condition) within-subjects repeated measures MANOVA. Drop-jump kinematic variables were knee flexion, valgus, and rotation angles at foot strike and maximum; kinetic variables were knee extension, varus, and rotation moments at foot strike and maximum and maximum ground reaction force. Drop-jump data were analyzed using two-factor (3×3) (bracing condition and side: upright, contralateral, and ipsilateral) within-subjects repeated measures MANOVA; α was set at .05. Deep squat data indicated significant differences among bracing conditions (F(4,28) = 3.500, p = .019), with the taped condition providing the greatest restriction of motion at the knee and ankle. Drop-jump data indicated no multivariate kinematic (F(14,18) = 1.181, p = .364) or kinetic differences (F(14,18) = .867, p = .601) among bracing conditions. There were, however, multivariate kinematic (F(14,18) = 3.540, p = .007) and kinetic differences (F(14,18) = 5.271, p = .001) among side conditions. While ankle bracing and taping affected the range of motion at the knee, it does not appear that bracing and taping affected the kinematics or kinetics of the knee during reactive maneuvers known to be associated with ACL injuries.