Fibular malalignment in chronic ankle instability
The recurrence rate of lateral ankle sprain is high, with repeated sprain leading to chronic ankle instability (CAI). Because of the ongoing controversy regarding the contributing factors to CAI, it is imperative to identify its major causes and prevent recurrent lateral ankle sprain. One factor that has recently been suggested is a positional difference of the distal fibula in individuals with CAI, compared to their contralateral side. Whilst previous research found no consistency regarding anteroposterior positioning, the current study investigated mediolateral malalignment in CAI individuals.
The results showed that the 17 subjects with unilateral CAI possessed significantly greater lateral fibula displacement when compared to their contralateral ankle. Furthermore, no difference was observed in the sagittal plane (anteroposterior direction).
Although this study demonstrated malalignment of the distal fibula in CAI ankles in a non-weight bearing position, further studies would strengthen these results using non-CAI individuals. Nevertheless, it may be suggested that the increased lateral positioning of the fibula may be a factor in recurrent lateral ankle sprain.
> From: Kobayashi et al., J Orthop Sports Phys Ther (2014) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. Click here for the Pubmed summary.