The Impact of a Previous Ankle Injury on Current Health-Related Quality of Life in College Athletes

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Journal of Sport Rehabilitation


Context: There has been an increased interest in understanding how ankle injuries impact patient outcomes; however, it is unknown how the severity of a previous ankle injury influences health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Objective: To determine the impact of a previous ankle injury on current HRQOL in college athletes. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Athletic training clinics. Participants: A total of 270 participants were grouped by the severity of a previous ankle injury (severe = 62, mild = 65, and no injury = 143). Main OutcomeMeasures: Participants completed the Foot and Ankle Ability Measure (FAAM) and the Short Form 12 (SF-12). Methods: A 2-way analysis of variance with 2 factors (injury group and sex) was used to identify interaction and main effects for the FAAM and SF-12. Results: No interactions were identified between injury group and sex. Significant main effects were observed for injury group, where the severe injury group scored lower than athletes with mild and no injuries on the FAAM activities of daily living, FAAM Global, and SF-12 mental health subscale scores. In addition, a main effect was present for sex in the SF-12 general health, social functioning, and mental health subscales in which females reported significantly lower scores than males. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that a severe ankle injury impacts HRQOL, even after returning back to full participation. In addition, females tended to report lower scores than males for aspects of the SF-12, suggesting that sex should be considered when evaluating HRQOL postinjury. As a result, clinicians should consider asking athletes about their previous injury history, including how much time was lost due to the injury, and should mindful of returning athletes to play before they are physiologically and psychologically ready, as there could be long-term negative effects on the patients' region-specific function as well as aspects of their HRQOL.

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