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Minerva Ortopedica e Traumatologica 2014 April;65(2):185-90


language: English

Influence of different ankle braces on brake response time and brake force of young athletes

Mittag F. 1, Wolf P. 2, Kluba T. 1, Ipach I. 1

1 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University Hospital Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany; 2 Department for Medical Statistic and Epidemiology, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany


AIM: After traumatic rupture of the ankle ligaments, young athletes are often advised to wear an ankle brace after initial immobilisation to guarantee stability during recovery. Patients with an immobilised right ankle often seek advice from their treating orthopaedic surgeon about driving a car with these braces. The purpose of the present study was to determine if there are differences in the ability of young athletes to perform an emergency stop while the function of the right ankle was restricted by different kinds of ankle braces.
METHODS: Five young athletes aged between 25-40 years were tested for reaction time, foot transfer time and brake force of the right foot while wearing different braces (neaTec Kallassy® - neaTec®; A.S.O.® - Basko®; Caligaloc® - Bauerfeind®; Aircast® - DJO Global®; Airgo® - DJO Global®). Data were collected using a special driving simulator.
RESULTS: Concerning reaction time, mean differences between brace and without brace ranged between -4.4 ms and 19.4 mc. A statistically significant difference was seen between athletes without a brace and Caligaloc® in favour of Caligaloc (P=0.037). Overall, data showed no disadvantage of wearing a brace regarding reaction time. All braces led to a prolonged mean transfer time compared to the situation without brace (statistical significant for Aircast® and Airgo®). Concerning brake force, no clear tendency was observed: for ASO and Caligaloc the mean break force was stronger than without brace without statistic significance.
CONCLUSION: The study observes the influence of different ankle braces with regard to reaction time, foot transfer time and brake force. Regarding the different types of braces, there is no clear evidence of a negative impact on the driving ability.

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