Segmental Spinal Reflex Adaptations Associated With Chronic Ankle Instability

Jo Ellen M. Sefton, Charlie A. Hicks-Little, Tricia J. Hubbard, Mark G. Clemens, Christopher M. Yengo, David M. Koceja, Mitchell L. Cordova

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40 Scopus citations


Sefton JM, Hicks-Little CA, Hubbard TJ, Clemens MG, Yengo CM, Koceja DM, Cordova ML. Segmental spinal reflex adaptations associated with chronic ankle instability. Objective: To further understanding of the role that segmental spinal reflexes play in chronic ankle instability (CAI). Design: A 2 × 2 repeated-measures case-control factorial design. The independent variables were ankle group with 2 levels (healthy, CAI) and stance with 2 levels (single, double legged). Setting: University research laboratory. Participants: Twenty-two participants with CAI and 21 matched healthy controls volunteered. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: The dependent variables were 2 measures of motoneuron pool excitability: paired reflex depression (PRD) and recurrent inhibition. Results: A 2 × 2 repeated-measures multivariate analysis of variance revealed a significant interaction between group and stance on the linear combination of PRD and recurrent inhibition variables (Wilks λ=.808, F2,40=4.77, P=.014). Follow-up univariate F tests revealed an interaction between group and stance on the PRD (F1,41=9.74, P=.003). Follow-up dependent t tests revealed a significant difference between single- and double-legged PRD in the healthy participants (t20=-3.76, P=.001) with no difference in CAI participants (t21=-0.44, P=.67). Finally, there was a significant difference in recurrent inhibition between healthy (mean, 83.66) and CAI (mean, 90.27) (P=.004). Conclusions: This study revealed that, compared with healthy participants, CAI participants were less able to modulate PRD when going from a double- to a single-legged stance. Additionally, CAI participants showed higher overall levels of recurrent inhibition when compared with healthy matched controls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1991-1995
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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