Effects of ankle bracing on knee joint biomechanics during an unanticipated cutting maneuver



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Ankle sprains are the most frequently sustained injury in sports and are recurrent in 40% of cases; however, ankle sprains are far from the most severe sports injuries. Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL injuries generally cost more in both time and money, and have more lasting effects. Prophylactic ankle bracing is a common method of injury prevention by athletes, yet the effects of ankle bracing on other lower limb joints, especially the knee, are not well documented. This study examined college-aged adults (n = 12, six females and six males) during an unanticipated cutting maneuver to explore the effect of prophylactic ankle bracing on knee joint biomechanics. The results of this study suggested that prophylactic ankle bracing did not significantly increase ACL injury risk; however, the results suggest that cut direction may influence lower extremity biomechanics as much or more than ankle bracing.