We are all familiar with preventative knee bracing for lineman, but what about the ankle? After all, when these big guys are battling in the trenches they tend to get their ankle stepped on, fallen on and overall abused. Many times, the mechanism of injury is external rotation which causes the dreaded syndesmotic (high) ankle injury. With the amount of exposures these linemen have to ankle injuries in practice and games would it be wise for them to use both preventative knee and ankle bracing?
Even though they aren’t the most common ankle issue, acute ankle injuries tend to be discussed more among athletic trainers and sports medicine professionals since they can be the most damaging to an athlete and their career. But what about the most common, less-discussed ankle issue that is prevalent among today’s athletes both young and old? I’m talking about non-acute mild/moderate ankle instability.
Let’s say an athlete has a brief history of previous ligament injuries to the same ankle and they play a sport with a high incidence of ankle injuries, like basketball or volleyball. One goal as an athletic trainer would be to stop the cycle of ankle injury to prevent more severe problems down the road – but what are the best injury prevention methods for mild/moderate ankle instability?