Document Type


Publication Date




This study determined if anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL)/superior extensor ankle retinaculum (SEAR) thicknesses are related to dynamic balance in individuals with chronic ankle instability (CAI).

Materials and Methods

The subjects were 14 males and 15 females (age=24.52±3.46 years). Ankle instability was assessed using the Cumberland Ankle Instability Tool (CAIT) with a cut off score of 25 to define two groups. SonoSite MTurbo (Fugifilm Sonosite, Inc.) musculoskeletal ultrasound (MSKUS) unit was used to assess ATFL and SEAR thicknesses. Dynamic balance was measured with the Y Balance Test (YBT) and two NeuroCom balance tests.


There were no significant differences in the average ATFL thickness between stable and unstable ankles in those subjects with CAI (0.25±0.03 cm and 0.21±0.05 cm, respectively) or in the SEAR thickness (0.09±0.04 cm and 0.10±0.03 cm, respectively). There were also no significant differences in the right and left ATFL thicknesses (0.23±0.07 cm and 0.21±0.04 cm, respectively) or the SEAR thicknesses (0.09±0.01 cm and 0.09±0.01 cm, respectively) in those without CAI. There were no differences between limbs in composite scores on YBT in those with CAI (p=0.35) and those without CAI (p=0.33). There was a moderate correlation between the left SEAR thickness and the large forward/backward perturbations on the NeuroCom (Natus) motor control test (r=0.51, p=0.006 and r=0.54, p=0.003, respectively).


There were no differences in the ATFL/SEAR thicknesses or balance measures between or within the groups, likely because CAI is multi-factorial and related to mechanisms other than tissue changes alone. More sensitive technology and a better definition of the measurement process may provide more definitive results.


This article was originally published in Journal of Korean Foot Ankle Society, volume 23, issue 4, in 2020.

Peer Reviewed



Korean Foot and Ankle Society

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.