Clinical assessment of acute lateral ankle sprain injuries (ROAST): 2019 consensus statement and recommendations of the International Ankle Consortium

Lateral ankle sprain injury is the most common musculoskeletal injury incurred by individuals who participate in sports and recreational physical activities. Following initial injury, a high proportion of individuals develop long-term injury-associated symptoms and chronic ankle instability. The development of chronic ankle instability is consequent on the interaction of mechanical and sensorimotor insufficiencies/impairments that manifest following acute lateral ankle sprain injury. To reduce the propensity for developing chronic ankle instability, clinical assessments should evaluate whether patients in the acute phase following lateral ankle sprain injury exhibit any mechanical and/or sensorimotor impairments. This modified Delphi study was undertaken under the auspices of the executive committee of the International Ankle Consortium. The primary aim was to develop recommendations, based on expert (n=14) consensus, for structured clinical assessment of acute lateral ankle sprain injuries. After two modified Delphi rounds, consensus was achieved on the clinical assessment of acute lateral ankle sprain injuries. Consensus was reached on a minimum standard clinical diagnostic assessment. Key components of this clinical diagnostic assessment include: establishing the mechanism of injury, as well as the assessment of ankle joint bones and ligaments. Through consensus, the expert panel also developed the International Ankle Consortium Rehabilitation-Oriented ASsessmenT (ROAST). The International Ankle Consortium ROAST will help clinicians identify mechanical and/or sensorimotor impairments that are associated with chronic ankle instability. This consensus statement from the International Ankle Consortium aims to be a key resource for clinicians who regularly assess individuals with acute lateral ankle sprain injuries.