Are you using the same return to sport testing for your ankle injuries as you do for ACL injuries? Time to stop. Nearly 40% of ankle injuries go on to report instability in the injured ankle that can lead to Functional Ankle Instability (FAI). The Cincinnati hop tests just aren’t specific enough for the ankle instability patients. Below is a research article on 4 single limb hopping tests used to identify those with FAI and potential functional performance tests to assess readiness for return to sport.

Original research article here: The Ability of 4 Single-Limb Hopping Tests to Detect Functional Performance Deficits in Individuals With Functional Ankle Instability

* The researchers chose the figure-of-8 hop, side hop, 6-meter crossover hop, and square hop tests to determine side to side differences in functional hopping tasks due to high levels of lateral ankle stress involved in the tasks
* The group that reported feelings of instability during the functional task also yielded the largest side-to-side performance differences
* The patients under the traditional classification (initial ankle sprain and repeated episodes of giving way), but did not report giving way during the functional task, actually performed very similarly to the control subjects. Therefore listen to your patients when they say “my ankle gives out.”
* Limb dominance does not play a role in performance of these functional tests
* The level of severity varies greatly in patients with FAI. FAI is also influenced by multiple systems and other joints within the kinetic chain
* The performance deficits identified in this study were relatively small and may or may not be clinically meaningful

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