Sunday, August 16, 2020

Spraino Patches For Preventing Ankle Sprains?

We see lots of patients with ankle sprains in our clinic. Recently there was a patient who sprained her ankle while playing badminton with her friends.

The lack of match play and practice as all indoor courts were closed during the circuit breaker/lockdown period probably contributed to her getting hurt.

Most ankle sprains happen on the outside of the ankle. Badminton, which is a popular sport in Singapore is mostly played indoors.

The majority of ankle sprains that occur in badminton are 'non-contact'. This means players often sprain their ankles without contact with another player.

A contributing factor is due to the shoe traction-playing surface friction mechanism since only the player's shoe is in contact with the floor when the sprain occurs. This is true across various sports played indoors like floorball, basketball, handball and badminton.

Interestingly, I came across a research paper on a low friction shoe patch called Spraino that can help prevent lateral ankle sprains in indoor sports players.
Spraino patches on outer side of shoe
The researchers studied the 480 participants (that played handball, basketball and badminton) who completed the trial. The participants were above 18 and were playing at sub elite level They trained at least twice weekly, had a previous lateral ankle sprain in the last 24 months and had returned to sport prior to commencement of the research.

The participants were randomized into two groups, with one group getting the Spaino patches to mitigate the risk of lateral ankle sprains. The other group played as usual with no Spraino patches.

The adhesive Spraino patches (meant for indoor use only) were attached along the outside edge of the shoe. The front patch covers 2-4 mm of the shoe sole while the rear patch does not. The patches had a durability of 20-40 hours of activity.

The intervention group received Spraino patches and application instructions as well as instructions on how to order new patches and report adverse events. They were encouraged to use Spraino patches during all indoor sport activities. Both groups were allowed to tape or keep using any other injury preventive measure of their choice.

The researches found that Spraino was just as effective as other preventive measures (like exercise and prophylactic bracing and taping) when compared to not using Spraino. The participants using Spraino had a 53% lower incidence rate of severe ankle sprains compared to the control group.

The Spraino group was also less fearful of getting an ankle sprain and this is important since fear can be a major hindrance to sports activity.

Now, how do I get some Spraino patches for my patient. Perhaps I should email the authors. They should have named it something else though, in my opinion ;)


Lysdal FG, Bandholm T et al (2020). Does The Spraino Low-friction Shoe Patch Prevent Lateral Ankle Sprain Injury In Indoor Sports? A Pilot Randomozed Controlled Trial with 510 participants With Previous Ankle Injuries. BJSM. DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2019-101767.

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