Effect of simulated joint instability and bracing on ankle and subtalar joint flexibility

Julie Choisne, Anthony McNally, Matthew C. Hoch, Stacie I. Ringleb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


It is clinically challenging to distinguish between ankle and subtalar joints instability in vivo. Understanding the changes in load-displacement at the ankle and subtalar joints after ligament injuries may detect specific changes in joint characteristics that cannot be detected by investigating changes in range of motion alone. The effect of restricting joints end range of motion with ankle braces was already established, but little is known about the effect of an ankle brace on the flexibility of the injured ankle and subtalar joints. Therefore, the purposes of this study were to (1) understand how flexibility is affected at the ankle and subtalar joints after sectioning lateral and intrinsic ligaments during combined sagittal foot position and inversion and during internal rotation and (2) investigate the effect of a semi-rigid ankle brace on the ankle and subtalar joint flexibility. Kinematics and kinetics were collected from nine cadaver feet during inversion through the range of ankle flexion and during internal rotation. Motion was applied with and without a brace on an intact foot and after sequentially sectioning the calcaneofibular ligament (CFL) and the intrinsic ligaments. Segmental flexibility was defined as the slope of the angle-moment curve for each 1 Nm interval. Early flexibility significantly increased at the ankle and subtalar joint after CFL sectioning during inversion. The semi-rigid ankle brace significantly decreased early flexibility at the subtalar joint during inversion and internal rotation for all ligament conditions and at the ankle joint after all ligaments were cut.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-243
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
StatePublished - Jan 3 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd


  • Flexibility
  • Ligament injury
  • Semi-rigid ankle brace
  • Subtalar joint instability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Rehabilitation
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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