Abnormal movement patterns and neuromuscular impairments at the ankle are thought to contribute to ankle joint degeneration in those with chronic ankle instability. However, these impairments are not confided to the ankle; rather, proximal neuromuscular deficiencies at the knee and aberrant movement patterns, thought to be responsible for reductions in knee joint health, have also been identified. While neuromuscular impairments and self-reported functional limitations have been examined in those with chronic ankle instability, patient-generated symptoms associated with joint health of the ankle and knee have not been investigated. Therefore, the purpose was to compare perceived ankle and knee joint health in individuals with and without chronic ankle instability.
The Ankle Osteoarthritis Scale and the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score assessed region-specific ankle and knee joint health.
Participants with chronic ankle instability reported more ankle pain (P < 0.001) and disability (P < 0.001) than the control group. Chronic ankle instability individuals also reported worse knee joint health (P < 0.05).
The increased symptomology associated with decreased ankle joint health further supports information demonstrating joint degeneration in young adults with chronic ankle instability. The decreased perceived knee joint health provides preliminary evidence of the negative impact proximal neuromuscular impairments associated with chronic ankle instability that may have on joints other than the ankle. Assessing subjective ankle and knee joint function can guide clinicians in developing individualized rehabilitation by providing them with an understanding if a patient presenting with chronic ankle instability suffers from symptoms arising from more than just the ankle.