Background: Ankle sprain is one of the most prevalent kind of sport injuries at worldwide. It is caused by stretching ankle ligaments inducing the disruption of collagen fibres during
a forced inversion associated or not to plantarflexion of ankle joint. Following this kind of injury, chronic ankle problems are common including joint pain, muscle weakness and giving way episodes.
The purpose of the present study was to investigate dynamic balcance and strenght in involved and uninvolved lower extremities of handball players after clinical recovery of lateral ankle sprain.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study in male handball players (n=5) with 18 to 25 years-old. Lower limb functional performance was evaluated through single and triple-crossover
hop tests for distance. For the analysis of dynamic balance, the star excursion balance test (SEBT) was carried out and the results were expressed as ratio to respective lower limb lenght. For both
hop tests and SEBT a mean of three bouts was calculated to express the results. The history of recurrent ankle sprain and prevalence of giving way episodes were evaluated by a specific former and the
prevalence of chronic ankle instability was identified trough application of Cumberland Ankle Instability Tool (CAIT). The results were expressed as mean±standard deviation and statiscally analyzed by
Student´s t test using Graphpad prism software. The ethical issues were considered according to Resolution 466/12 by the National Health Care Council.
Results: The time from injury ranges from 3 weeks to 3 years, three of the subjects reported a history of recurrent ankle sprains, the CAIT score of the sample was 21.6±4.2 (range
from 18 to 29) and all subjects had giving way episodes. There was no difference between uninvolved and involved lower extremities in single and triple-crossover hop tests. A significant reduction
(p<0,05) in scores of SEBT was only observed for anterior (decreased by 5%), anterolateral (decreased by 5%), anteromedial (decreased by 5%), medial (decreased by 7%) and posterior (decreased by 6%)
reached distances of involved compared to uninvolved lower limb.
Conclusions: The results presented herein demonstrated that after an ankle sprain, handball players could present decreased dynamic balance in involved ankle even in absence of
alterations in single and triple-crossover hop tests suggesting a chronic joint instability. These results indicate that new studies with more subjects are mandatory to confirm this, clarify its
involved mechanisms and that balance exercises should be emphasized in the rehabilition process of this kind of injury.