Manual physical therapy and exercise versus supervised home exercise in the management of patients with inversion ankle sprain: A multicenter randomized clinical trial

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STUDY DESIGN: Randomized clinical trial. OBJECTIVE: To compare the effectiveness of manual therapy and exercise (MTEX) to a home exercise program (HEP) in the management of individuals with an inversion ankle sprain. BACKGROUND: An in-clinic exercise program has been found to yield similar outcomes as an HEP for individuals with an inversion ankle sprain. However, no studies have compared an MTEX approach to an HEP. METHODS: Patients with an inversion ankle sprain completed the Foot and Ankle Ability Measure (FAAM) activities of daily living subscale, the FAAM sports subscale, the Lower Extremity Functional Scale, and the numeric pain rating scale. Patients were randomly assigned to either an MTEX or an HEP treatment group. Outcomes were collected at baseline, 4 weeks, and 6 months. The primary aim (effects of treatment on pain and disability) was examined with a mixed-model analysis of variance. The hypothesis of interest was the 2-way interaction (group by time). RESULTS: Seventy-four patients (mean ± SD age, 35.1 ± 11.0 years; 48.6% female) were randomized into the MTEX group (n = 37) or the HEP group (n = 37). The overall group-by-time interaction for the mixed-model analysis of variance was statistically significant for the FAAM activities of daily living subscale (P<.001), FAAM sports subscale (P<.001), Lower Extremity Functional Scale (P<.001), and pain (P≤.001). Improvements in all functional outcome measures and pain were significantly greater at both the 4-week and 6-month follow-up periods in favor of the MTEX group. CONCLUSION: The results suggest that an MTEX approach is superior to an HEP in the treatment of inversion ankle sprains. Copyright © 2013 Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy®. All rights reserved.

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