In vivo arthrometer measurements of mechanical ankle instability-A systematic review.J Orthop Res 2019; 37(5):1133-1142JO
Chronic ankle instability is caused by functional and/or mechanical deficits. To differentiate the two entities, mechanical ankle instability can be assessed using arthrometers. The measurement of mechanical instability is essential, since it can only be addressed surgically. The aim of this systematic literature review was to find out whether chronic mechanical ankle instability could be adequately and objectively assessed using in vivo arthrometer measurements. Articles were included if the main focus was to evaluate the contribution of mechanical deficits to chronic ankle instability and if they provided sufficient description of the device used. This systematic review was performed according to the PRISMA-recommendations. Initially 47 articles were screened for eligibility, of which 33 studies reporting 10 different devices were included. While the reliability of the measurements was mostly good to excellent, only two studies aimed to assess the sensitivity and specificity of their results in regard to chronic ankle instability. Several devices reported conflicting results about mechanical deficits. In summary, this systematic review reveals a substantial deficit in diagnostic accuracy when assessing mechanical ankle instability in a clinical setting. Biases in recruiting and classification of participants raise the question whether the two entities of functional and mechanical ankle instability are properly defined. Clinical Significance: In recent years, this may have led to a misinterpretation of mechanical deficits and the subsequent need for surgical intervention. © 2019 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res.