Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were eligible for inclusion. Follow-up ranged from 3 months to 3.8 years.
Specific interventions included in the review
Studies comparing immobilisation with some form of early functional treatment were eligible for inclusion. A range of early functional treatments were used (early motion, bandage, tape, brace, air stirrup, aircast) over different durations (9 days to 5 weeks).
Participants included in the review
Studies of patients receiving acute treatment for inversion ankle sprains were eligible for inclusion.
Outcomes assessed in the review
There were no inclusion criteria relating to the outcomes. The main outcome was time to return to pre-injury activity. Secondary outcomes involved residual subjective instability, recurrent injury and patient satisfaction.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
Two reviewers independently screened studies for relevance.