Statement of Purpose Determine whether ankle sprain management differed between male and female secondary school athletes.
Methods/Approach The National Athletic Treatment, Injury and Outcomes Network (NATION) project collected athletic training room (ATR) visits and AT services data from 27 sports in 147 secondary schools from 26 states from 2011–2012 through 2013–2014. For all ankle sprains, we compared the number of visits, length of time between the first and last visit, number of services, and types of services between males and females using means, standard deviations, and independent-samples t-tests.
Results Over the 3 year period, 3213 ankle sprains received treatment: 1910 (59%) in males and 1303 (41%) in females. The average number of ATR visits and treatments per injury was not different between males (6.31, SD=8.51; 22.8, SD=36.7) and females (6.04, SD=7.50; 21.4, SD=27.4; p=0.34 and p=0.20, respectively). The average length of time between the first and last treatment was 2.5 days longer among females (28.8, SD=28.2) compared to males (26.3, SD=25.7; p=0.02). However, the average number of modality treatments per ankle sprain was larger in males (2.74, SD=4.64) than females (2.31, SD=3.59; p=0.003), and the average number of taping treatments per ankle sprain was larger in males (2.94, SD=2.69) than females (2.49, SD=2.28; p=0.01).
Conclusion While the number of ATR visits and treatments for ankle sprains did not differ by sex, the treatment course length and types of treatments, but the clinical significance is unknown.
Significance/Contribution to Injury and Violence Prevention Science Women are at increased risk of sustaining an initial ankle sprain. Further, chronic ankle instability (CAI), a condition that significantly burdens many athletes throughout life, is more prevalent in females. Proper management may reduce the risk of recurrent sprains and CAI. Further examination is needed to determine whether males and females are receiving equal quality of care.
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