The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to examine ankle sprain prevalence period and incidence rate unrestricted by sample activity context.
The main objectives involved determining if ankle sprain incidence rate and prevalence period are affected by age, sex and the nature of sporting activity.
The search strategy was designed with the purpose of extracting epidemiological studies of ankle sprain injury in multiple population groups.
Some studies consisted of entirely male (75) and female (44) samples, while a number of studies included mixed samples (36).
Findings from this review revealed a wide variation in ankle sprain incidence estimates, and meta-analyses indicate that females and children were the highest risk population subgroups for sustaining an ankle sprain, with indoor and court sports the highest risk activity.
The existence of a higher risk of ankle sprain in children compared with adolescents, and adolescents compared with adults is a significant finding, as injury at a young age can negatively affect a child’s ability to participate in activity.
The prevalence of ankle sprain was equal between males and females, between studies of high and low bias, and between age sub-groups.
Ice and water sports had the lowest overall prevalence within the sport subcategory.
Lower quality studies are more likely to underestimate the risk of ankle sprain.
Participants were at a significantly higher risk of sustaining a lateral ankle sprain compared with syndesmotic and medial ankle sprains.
This is the first systematic review to incorporate meta-analyses of data from epidemiological studies relating to ankle sprain injury.
This analysis provides valuable information for researchers internationally in studies of epidemiology and intervention.
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