Outcome of a neuromuscular training program on recurrent ankle sprains. Does the initial type of healthcare matter?

Adinda K.E. Mailuhu, Marienke van Middelkoop, Sita M.A. Bierma-Zeinstra, Patrick J.E. Bindels, Evert A.L.M. Verhagen

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Objectives: To study the impact of initial healthcare for a lateral ankle sprain on the outcome of neuromuscular training (NMT) on recurrent sprains and describe athlete characteristics receiving different types of healthcare. Design: Secondary analysis of three randomized trials. Method: From three previous trials evaluating NMT, data on athlete characteristics, type of initial healthcare and a recurrent sprain during one-year follow-up were collected (N = 705). Multilevel logistic regression analyses were used to test the impact of initial healthcare on the outcome of NMT on recurrent sprains. Potential differences in athlete characteristics between different types of healthcare were examined using one-way analysis of variance and Pearson chi-square test. Results: After NMT, 39.7% of the athletes visiting paramedical care reported a recurrent sprain, 21.8% of secondary and 34.0% of primary care. Athletes who visited a physiotherapist reported more recurrent sprains, than those not visiting a physiotherapist (adjusted OR 3.15;95%CI 1.88-5.23). Athletes visiting paramedical (49.7%) and primary care (48.4%) used more braces and/or tape during sport than those not visiting any care (34.2%). Conclusions: The initial type of healthcare of athletes with an ankle sprain, that consecutively received NMT, seems to impact the occurrence of recurrent sprains. Physiotherapists may be visited by athletes with a poorer prognosis, which may be explained by different athlete characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)807-813
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • Ankle injury
  • intervention outcome
  • medical consumption
  • re-sprains

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