Dynamic ankle stability: Mechanical and neuromuscular interrelationships

G. B. Wilkerson, A. J. Nitz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Ankle proprioception is widely regarded as an important factor that affects susceptibility to ankle sprain, but the precise mechanisms by which proprioceptive abilities may enhance ankle stability are not well understood. Pertinent literature is reviewed and theoretical interrelationships among factors that may affect dynamic ankle function are discussed. Topics addressed include mechanoreceptor function, muscle spindle function, postural balance, ankle edema, joint capsule distension, synovial hypertrophy, capsuloligamentous laxity, anterolateral rotary instability, ankle giving way, reflexive muscle splinting, articular deafferentation, neurogenic inflammation, muscular de-efferentation, and enhancement of compensatory neuromuscular mechanisms. Recommendations for future research are presented in the form of questions that cannot be adequately answered at present concerning the role of proprioceptively mediated mechanisms in the maintenance of dynamic ankle stability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-57
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Sport Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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