L. Hermann, Y. Ryan, A. Buchalski, G. Mateo, R. McCulloch

Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA

An ankle sprain is an injury to the ligaments of the ankle joint and one of the most common injuries for basketball players. Injuries to the lateral-ligament complex caused by ankle inversion are the most common sprains, often occurring with excessive foot inversion and plantar flexion when landing on an uneven surface. PURPOSE: This study examined differences in ankle support between high top and low top shoes, while analyzing the effects of ankle stabilizing muscle activity during landing. METHODS: This was a methodological pilot study consisting of two parts. An anatomical simulation test was performed to measure the force it takes to displace both high and low top shoes to a 30° inversion angle from two different locations on the lateral side of the shoe sole, incorporating a leg model and a force transducer. A dropbox stability test was performed in both shoe types to measure muscle activity and inversion angle of the ankle during a simulated ankle sprain for both right and left feet. The dropbox inverted to an angle of 30°. Surface electrodes were placed on the tibialis anterior, peroneus brevis and peroneus longus to measure muscle activation through electromyography (EMG) during the dropbox trials, and were normalized to maximum voluntary contractions. One foot was placed on the platform to be inverted, using the opposite foot strictly for balance on the stable platform of the box. Participants were informed they were to experience an unexpected sudden ankle rotation when the support block was pulled. Muscle activity and drop ankle angle, measured with motion capture, were collected during trials. RESULTS: Anatomical simulation trials showed significant strong relationships between force applied and degree of inversion. Drop Box Shoe stability trials were showed increased ankle inversion angle in a low collar vs. high collar. The dropbox also showed increased mean muscle activity in the peroneus longus in the high collared shoes compared to low collared shoes, whereas the other two muscles had lower mean activity levels in high collared shoes. CONCLUSION: A greater lateral force will positively influence the angle of shoe inversion of the high and low collared styles. A dropbox can be used to determine the effects of shoe design on ankle injuries by accurately simulating the landing experienced in basketball ankle injuries.

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