New Study Shows Ankle Sleeves and Lace-Up Braces Can Benefit Athlete Performance

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An athlete’s use of silicone ankle sleeves (SAS) and lace-up ankle braces (LAB) during sports participation can improve neuromuscular control, according to research presented today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s (AOSSM) Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL.

Athletes should continue to practice proven injury prevention methods, even when using a support device. - Seth L. Sherman, MD

An athlete’s use of silicone ankle sleeves (SAS) and lace-up ankle braces (LAB) during sports participation can improve neuromuscular control, according to research presented today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s (AOSSM) Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL.

“Athletes often use prophylactic sleeves or braces, and this study used markerless motion analysis to determine whether these support aids are beneficial,” said lead author Seth L. Sherman, MD, from the University of Missouri – Columbia Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

The study examined 10 subjects – five female and five male – who performed tests including the drop vertical jump (DJV), 45 degree bound, and various timed cutting maneuvers. Researchers tested both with and without the use of SAS and LAB. Using both SAS and LAB, study participants showed decreased dynamic valgus and hip internal rotation during DJV testing, and decreased knee and ankle torque as compared to controls. The use of SAS or LAB did not negatively influence athletic performance measures.

“While improvements in neuromuscular control were noted in this study, we cannot assume that the use of SAS or LAB leads to a lower injury risk,” Sherman said. “Athletes should continue to practice proven injury prevention methods, even when using a support device.”

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The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) is a world leader in sports medicine education, research, communication and fellowship, and includes national and international orthopaedic sports medicine leaders. The Society works closely with many other sports medicine specialists, including athletic trainers, physical therapists, family physicians, and others to improve the identification, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of sports injuries. AOSSM is also a founding partner of the STOP Sports Injuries campaign to prevent overuse and traumatic injuries in kids.

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