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Ankle braces
Ankle braces

An orthosis is an orthopedic fixator, it differs in types and areas of application. They are used for various diseases of the musculoskeletal system - for the spine, joints of the upper and lower extremities.

Ankle brace is a special design that exactly follows the contours of the human lower leg. In appearance, the device may resemble a golf course, boots, and even a sock. Almost all product types are available with open fingers.

Fixation of a medical accessory can be different: lacing, straps, Velcro, buttons … Currently, a medical accessory is made of synthetic or cotton fabric with the addition of dense elastic, plastic, metal. Once upon a time, gadgets were made of wood.

When do you need an ankle brace and how to choose it?

Indications for the use of the ankle brace

Treatment of injuries and diseases of the ankle joint of 2-3 degrees - with damage to the cartilage - in most cases begins with immobilization - the diseased limb must be provided with rest.

Reliable fixation is necessary in case of exacerbation of diseases and with injuries of the following types:

  • arthritis and arthrosis of the lower extremities with ankle lesions;
  • damage to muscles and ligaments, including the Achilles tendon;
  • fractures and dislocations;
  • secondary instability of the ankle joint due to planovalgus deformity or flat feet;
  • with paralysis and paresis of the lower extremities with ischemic attacks and strokes;
  • after operations on the lower extremities;
  • with rickets and congenital pathologies in children.

In some cases, it is advisable to use orthoses for prophylactic purposes.

This is a common practice among athletes and those people whose professional activity is associated with increased stress on the ankle joints.

Types of ankle orthoses

What are the designs of the clips?

Currently, soft, semi-rigid and rigid devices are manufactured, the use of which depends on the type and degree of damage to the ankle. For example, for prophylaxis, soft ankle orthoses are used, for fractures - hard ones. Your doctor will advise you on the choice of medical accessories.

Anchors can also be qualified according to the type of load:

  • unloading - reduce the load on the ankle, creating conditions for redistribution;
  • corrective - used to eliminate deformities that have arisen in the joints;
  • tightly fixing - for total immobilization;
  • adjustable - if, with recovery or depending on the clinical picture, the degree of fixation requires changes;
  • dynamic - if immobilization is not required to treat the disease.

Product options:

  • articulated ankle orthosis - provides mobility;
  • bandage without hinges - the shape of the structure is provided by fasteners.

The soft-fit design resembles a removable band in appearance. When choosing the necessary device, take into account the size, shape of the structure and the type of attachment.

Such a device has no contraindications for use - if you follow the rules of operation. This type of medical accessory can be combined with shoes and underwear, you can put it on and off yourself. The product is easy to wash. Usually, such devices are removed at night.

Ankle brace, semi-rigid - medium fixation. Such products must be secured with lacing or a belt, which may well replace an elastic bandage in its function. Rigid parts are introduced into many designs - plastic or metal inserts that increase rigidity.

In most cases, the devices are used during the rehabilitation period after injuries or ankle surgery.

The pressure and the compression ratio are adjusted by the tension of the straps or laces.

This design may well replace a removable plaster splint. It completely repeats all anatomical bends, does not rub the skin during prolonged wear, it can - if the attending physician permits - take it off at night and then put it on yourself. Most of this type of product can be worn with shoes. The fixator delivers insignificant discomfort - after a day or two, patients practically cease to notice it.

Ankle orthosis rigid is used for 3 degrees of arthrosis and arthritis or for fractures and severe dislocations with displacement. This device provides a secure fit. The joint is released from the load, due to which the pain syndrome is eliminated.

The latch completely replaces the plaster cast in case of ankle fractures, it immobilizes the joint in the position necessary for proper fusion. The product is fitted with elastic inserts and rigid tires. The pressure on the skin is regulated to prevent the scuffs and calluses that often occur with plaster cast.

Currently, many models of rigid ankle orthoses are produced in various shapes and heights. Redistribution of the load minimizes the inconvenience from temporary disability, allows you to retain the ability to move independently. Thanks to the thick sole, you can lean on the injured limb, and the patient himself is able to serve himself in everyday life and even leave the house.

Features of the use of ankle orthoses

Thanks to the fixators, the joints are stabilized, the mechanical load on the ligamentous apparatus is reduced, the painful sensations disappear. Visually, the appearance of the limb is normalized - edema and hyperemia are eliminated.

The special convenience is that it is possible to maintain physical activity - there is no need to be afraid that the accessory will "slip".

The advantage of a removable retainer over plaster:

  • immobilization is much more reliable;
  • accessibility of the skin, which allows you to care for the lower extremities, carry out hygiene procedures and therapeutic measures;
  • itching and chafing does not appear due to the uncomfortable edge of the hard fixator, as is often the case when casting.

However, the use of a removable ankle brace is not always justified - for fresh fractures, the patient is recommended to use plaster casts for the first time. The use of ankle orthoses is also unacceptable for open fractures and injuries with damage to the skin.

There is an opinion that wearing removable fixators leads to wasting of the lower leg muscles. This is not true.

On the contrary, these medical accessories allow you to partially maintain physical activity, which means that the muscle load is present.

Is it possible to make an ankle orthosis with your own hands, at home, from scrap materials? This cannot be done. Orthoses are made according to special patterns, many sizes and the degree of load are taken into account. A small mistake can lead to severe deformation of the joint, improper union of the fracture.

What to choose after an injury, a cast or a removable retainer? The decision on this issue should be made only by the attending physician. The doctor also gives recommendations on the possibility of removing the medical accessory at night or during hygiene procedures.

In exceptional cases, removable clamps are made according to individual orders.

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