Term of Award

Summer 1996

Degree Name

Master of Science

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

Barton P. Buxton

Committee Member 1

Thomas L. German

Committee Member 2

A. Barry Joyner

Committee Member 3

James L. McMillan


The practice of taping and wrapping ankles for prophylaxis and support is prevalent in athletic training. In turn, more permanent prophylactic devices have been developed in an attempt to reduce costs, compensate for the limitations of tape, and eliminate the time spent taping prior to athletic practices and/or games. Due to the high incidence of ankle sprains among athletes (Booher, 1994; Fu, 1994; & Kulund, 1998), the use of prophylactic measures is a paramount concern to the athletic health care practitioner.

Many athletic trainers use varying techniques to support the ankle joint (NCAA Handbook. 1995; Burks, 1991; Felder, 1978, Gehlsen, 1991, Gross, 1991, Gross, 1994; Laughman, 1980; Mclntyre, 1983; Myburgh, 1984; Paris, 1995; Pope, 1987; Rarick, 1962, Seitz, 1984, & Shapiro, 1994). One such technique employs the application of tape directly over the athlete's shoe in an attempt to restrict plantar flexion and ankle inversion during physical activity. This process is known as shoe spatting and is commonly used in both acute and chronically unstable ankles.

In times of fiduciary concern, clinical practitioners should examine all aspects of professional practice to ensure that athletes receive the highest quality service in a cost effective manner Many athletic training budgets cannot support the expense required to tape ankles and spat shoes on a regular basis. Often, the budget size depends on the success of the athletic programs. In some situations, it may be more cost effective to use ankle braces with minimal taping while in others, costs related to expendable supplies may not be an issue. Ultimately, the overall concern is the reduction of ankle injuries or future damage to the joint through the use of a cost effective, functional means. Also, the athlete should be able to participate without concern that his/her prophylaxis will inhibit performance.


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