METHODS/DESIGN: The study is a randomised controlled trial. 120 subjects with an acute grade I or grade II ankle sprain will be recruited from Accident & Emergency and a University based Sports Injury Clinic. Subjects will be randomised under strict double-blind conditions to either a standard cryotherapy (intermittent ice applications with compression) or cryokinetic treatment group (intermittent ice applications with compression and therapeutic exercise). After the first week, treatment will be standardised across groups. Assessor blinding will be maintained throughout the trial. Primary outcome will be function, assessed using the Lower Extremity Functional Scale (LEFS). Additional outcomes will include pain (10 cm Visual Analogue Scale), swelling (modified figure-of-eight method) and activity levels (activPALtrade mark physical activity monitor, PAL Technologies, Glasgow, UK). Diagnostic Ultrasound (Episcan-1-200 high frequency ultrasound scanning system, Longport International Ltd, PA) will also be used to assess the degree of soft tissue injury. After baseline assessment subjects will be followed up at 1, 2, 3 & 4 weeks post injury. All data will be analysed using repeated measures analysis of co-variance (ANCOVA).
DISCUSSION: This paper describes the rationale and design of a randomised controlled trial which will examine the effectiveness of two different cryotherapy protocols in the early management of acute ankle sprain.
This abstract is reproduced with the permission of the publisher; click on the above link for full text. PMID: 18093299