July 2013

CAI patients with poorest sensation report more sprains in their history

In the moment: Ankle

By Jordana Bieze Foster

Decreased plantar cutaneous sensation in patients with chronic ankle instability (CAI) is associated with number of prior ankle sprains, according to research from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA.

Investigators used Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments to assess plantar cutaneous sensation in 10 patients with CAI, which was defined as having a history of at least one ankle sprain and at least two episodes of giving way in the previous six months.

All CAI patients exhibited diminished levels of sensation relative to normal levels, but those with the greatest deficits were also those with the highest self-reported numbers of previous ankle sprains—a correlation that was statistically significant.

Plantar cutaneous sensation was not significantly correlated with functional scores on the Foot and Ankle Ability Measure-Sport, the Disablement in the Physically Active Scale, or the Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia-11 (TSK-11) assessment tools. However, plantar cutaneous sensation did explain 25% of the variance in TSK-11 scores, suggesting that decreased sensation may be associated with heightened fear of reinjury.


Powden CJ, Houston MN, Powell MP, Hoch MC. Correlation between plantar cutaneous sensation and self-reported health in individuals with chronic ankle instability. Presented at the National Athletic Trainers’ Association 64th Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposia, Las Vegas, June 2013.

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