The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health tested a group of 1460 high-school basketball players and it was found that the players wearing a stabilising lace-up ankle brace suffered 68 percent fewer injuries than those who did not.
Tim McGuine, UW Health Sports Medicine researcher, athletic trainer and lead author says:
“The research suggests that wearing lace-up ankle braces is a cost-effective injury prevention strategy for adolescent basketball players. Basketball has one of the highest rates for ankle injuries and this study illustrates how a simple brace can help keep an athlete on the court.”
The research was performed on a group of 1460 male and female basketball players from 46 high schools throughout the 2009/10 season. 740 students were randomly assigned to use the brace, and the control group of 720 students did not use the brace.
Players in the control group suffered 78 ankle injuries while players in the braced group sustained only 27 similar injuries with the same amount of exposure (they defined an “exposure” as any coach-directed competition, practice or conditioning session.)
Co-author of the study Dr Alison Brooks, assistant professor in the UW Department of¬†Orthopedics¬†and¬†Rehabilitation¬†says:
“Parents were paying a substantial amount of money for a device that had never been proven effective. Our results show that the benefits of ankle braces far outweigh the expense.”
In America the current cost to treat an ankle injury is approximately $11,900 per athlete in direct and indirect costs. It is also known that 30% of athletes who sustain an ankle injury will experience long term effects that can be¬†detrimental¬†to their health and their abilities in the future.
Wearing an ankle support has always been strongly recommended as ankle injures are so common, particularly in sports where sudden changes in direction are¬†necessary such as basketball, football, rugby, hockey, tennis and squash. Now it has been backed up by these studies.
Practice safe sport – Wear an ankle brace!