Individuals With Functional Ankle Instability, but not Copers, Have Increased Forefoot Inversion During Walking Gait

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Altered gait kinematics in individuals with functional ankle instability (FAI) are thought to contribute to instability; however, research findings are inconsistent. Findings may be clarified with the use of a multisegment foot model and a coper group. Participants included 69 individuals: 23 with FAI, 23 controls, and 23 copers (individuals with a history of ankle sprain but no instability). Forefoot and hindfoot sagittal and frontal plane angles at initial contact (IC) were calculated during gait. For the forefoot and hindfoot, a multivariate analysis of variance tested group differences. For the forefoot in the frontal plane, there was a significant group difference at IC. The FAI group had significantly more inverted ankles than controls, but copers were not significantly different from the FAI or control groups. The lack of difference between the FAI and coper groups may indicate that increased inversion error in FAI does not explain symptoms of instability.