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Effectiveness of an outside-the-boot ankle brace in reducing parachuting related ankle injuries.


ABSTRACT:

Objectives

To examine the efficacy of an outside-the-boot parachute ankle brace (PAB) in reducing risk of ankle injury to army paratrooper trainees and to identify inadvertent risks associated with PAB use.

Design

The authors compared hospitalization rates for ankle, musculoskeletal, and other traumatic injury among 223,172 soldiers trained 1985-2002 in time periods defined by presence/absence of PAB use protocols. Multiple logistic regression analysis estimated adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals for injury outcomes, comparing pre and post brace periods to the brace protocol period.

Setting

A research database consisting of training rosters from the US Army Airborne training facility (Fort Benning, GA) occupational, demographic, and hospitalization information.

Main outcome measures

Injuries were considered training related if they occurred during a five week period starting with first scheduled static line parachute jump and a parachuting cause of injury code appeared in the hospital record.

Results

Of 939 parachuting related hospitalizations during the defined risk period, 597 (63.6%) included an ankle injury diagnosis, 198 (21.1%) listed a musculoskeletal (non-ankle) injury, and 69 (7.3%) cited injuries to multiple body parts. Risk of ankle injury hospitalization was higher during both pre-brace (adjusted OR 2.38, 95% CI 1.92 to 2.95) and post-brace (adjusted OR 1.72, 95% CI 1.27 to 2.32) periods compared with the brace protocol period. Odds of musculoskeletal (non-ankle) injury or injury to multiple body parts did not change between the brace and post-brace periods.

Conclusion

Use of a PAB during airborne training appears to reduce risk of ankle injury without increasing risk of other types of traumatic injury.

SUBMITTER: Schmidt MD 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC1730230 | BioStudies | 2005-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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