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The preventive effect of a soccer-specific ankle brace on acute lateral ankle sprains in girls amateur soccer players: study protocol of a cluster-randomised controlled trial


Background Acute lateral ankle sprains are the single most often diagnosed injury in female soccer players and often result in an inability to play. This highlights the need for effective prevention strategies. Proprioceptive training and/or the use of an external support to decrease inversion of the ankle joint can prevent or reduce the number of acute lateral ankle sprains. The effectiveness of a soccer-specific ankle brace in reducing first-time and recurrent acute lateral ankle sprains has never been investigated in girl soccer players. If effective, ankle braces could be introduced into soccer.

Study design Cluster-randomised controlled trial.

Methods Girl amateur soccer players (aged 14–18 years) will be allocated to an intervention or control group. The intervention group will be instructed to wear soccer-specific ankle braces on both ankles during soccer training and matches; the control group will continue playing soccer as usual. Primary outcomes are the incidence and severity of acute lateral ankle sprains. Secondary outcomes are the prognostic value of generalised joint hypermobility and functional stability on the risk of acute lateral ankle sprains and compliance with the intervention.

Discussion The findings from this study may provide evidence to support the use of a soccer-specific ankle brace to prevent lateral ankle sprains during soccer. We hypothesise that this brace will reduce the incidence of ankle sprains among young amateur girl soccer players by 50%. The prevention of such injuries will be beneficial to players, clubs and society.

Trial registration number The Netherlands Trial Register (NTR): NTR6045; Pre-results.

  • Recreation / Sports
  • Sports / Leisure Facility
  • Randomized Trial
  • Youth

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