Journal of Sports Medicine & Doping Studies

ISSN: 2161-0673

Open Access

A Systematic Review on the Effectiveness of Different Functional Treatments for Acute Ankle Sprains


Soe Luu Kyaw, Isabel S. Moore and Min Lwin Oo

Background: An ankle sprain is a very common sport-related injury and can reduce participation in sports and employment. It can also create further complications in the function of the joint.

Purpose: To evaluate the effectiveness of different functional treatments and to ascertain which functional treatment is the most effective method for acute ankle sprains.

Study Design: Systematic review.

Methods: The design of this systematic review was developed in accordance with PRISMA-P 2015 statement and performed according to its guidelines. A computerized literature search was performed from PubMed Central, MEDLINE via OVID and Cochrane library. Randomized controlled trials or quasi-experimental studies, published within a ten-year period (2007 to 2017), in peer-reviewed journals, with full-text articles and written in English were included in this study. Any type of functional treatments being applied to treat acute ankle sprains were considered as an intervention and only adult participants were included in this review. Surgical methods, unpublished trials, not written in the English language or not experimental research were excluded.

Results: From the pooled data of this review, the stocking was more effective at improving pain, swelling, functional outcomes, range of motion, and return to sport/work, and had higher patient satisfaction than the bandage. There was no evidence that the taping and lace-up brace were more effective than other functional interventions in the treatment of acute ankle sprains. Furthermore, the prevalence of complications was greatest for the taping and lace-up brace interventions. The semi-rigid or posterior rigid support group had a better functional recovery and higher patient satisfaction, but some complications were present.

Conclusion: The semi-rigid or posterior rigid support group and stocking were the most effective functional interventions for acute ankle sprain treatment.

What is known about this subject: The functional treatments are becoming popular due to being effective, inexpensive and simplistic to apply. Different types of functional interventions have been used according to the choice of clinicians and patients in the treatment of ankle sprains. According to the previous researches, semi-rigid support, ankle braces, bandage and lace-up supports have greater advantages than other functional treatments from different perspectives (Example. the elastic bandage had a slower recovery rate than semi-rigid brace but less complications than taping, the lace-up support was better in swelling management than other functional treatments).

What this study adds to existing knowledge: This study found that the stocking is an effective treatment for managing acute ankle sprains. It is valuable for the patient because the cost of the stocking is considerably cheaper than other functional treatments and it is very easy to wear. Some popular functional treatments like lace-up support; taping and semi-rigid braces were shown to have some complications.


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