BACKGROUND The application of ice or other forms of cooling represent a common method to treat acute musculoskeletal injuries during sporting events in order to reduce pain. Often athletes return to competition immediately after cooling. It is not known if short-term cryotherapy in the form of ice spray has an influence on the joint's dynamic stability. The aim of this study was to investigate if application of ice spray to the ankle has an effect on the dynamic stability of the joint in healthy participants. METHODS A randomized controlled single-blind pilot study with crossover-design was conducted. 22 healthy athletic participants (15 women, 7 men, mean age 31.8 years ± 5.7) were included. Time-to-stability (TTS) was used to investigate the effect of the interventions, ice spray and water spray, applied on the lateral ankle. TTS was assessed in medio-lateral (ML) and antero-posterior (AP) direction on a force plate with two different tests (side step down and 1-leg jump). Collected co-variables were age, gender, height, weight, previous ankle injuries, Tegner activity scale and leg dominance. RESULTS There were no significant differences between the two tests (side step down and 1-leg jump) in TTS after the application of ice spray or a water spray compared to the baseline (p > 0.05). There was no significant difference between the two interventions. The testing of the co-variable "previous ankle injury" showed a significant influence on the TTS in medio-lateral direction in the 1-leg jump test of the non-dominant leg after application of ice spray (p = 0.027). On the dominant leg same tendency could be found (p = 0.062). CONCLUSION The application of ice spray to the lateral ankle does not have an effect on dynamic stability in healthy participants. In participants with a previous ankle injury a significant decrease in dynamic stability after application of ice spray could be shown. Whether further factors affecting stability such as fatigue and the influence of an opponent player or the application of ice spray on adjacent muscles may augment this effect should be subject to future investigations.