Do you have a weak ankle due to a recent injury or ankle surgery? If so, you should explore the benefits of an ankle brace. It can help you recover and provide the stability you need as you run, play sports, or go about your daily routine.
What Is An Ankle Brace?
An ankle brace is a piece of protective orthopaedic equipment that provides support for the ankle, speeds healing, and prevents injury or re-injury. Lightweight and composed of fabric, plastic, and sometimes metal components, modern braces fit easily and comfortably around the affected limb. Some fasten with laces or velcro and feature a degree of compression to limit ankle swelling.
Benefits Of An Ankle Brace
In general, an ankle brace keeps your foot and toes pointed forward and prevents inward rotation or twisting of the foot and ankle. Most ankle sprains (stretching and tearing of ligaments, tendons, and other soft tissue) occur with sudden twisting or rotation of the ankle joint as you step off a curb or stair, or run on a bumpy, uneven surface.
When an ankle injury occurs, coaches, primary care physicians, orthopaedic specialists, and podiatrists often advise patients to wear ankle braces for joint support and to prevent further injury. Bracing also limits the development of scar tissue and arthritis and reduces both acute and chronic pain.
An ankle brace is an adjunctive tool after casting, surgery, physical therapy, exercise, targeted training, and other kinds of medical interventions. Your podiatrist in South Texas may advise an ankle brace in these situations:
- Ankle fracture
- Hindfoot fracture
- Ankle sprain and repeated ankle sprains
- Ankle instability due to arthritis, sprains, and obesity
- Poor balance
- Dysfunctional gait, such as toeing in or repeated inward rotation of the ankle joint
- Rheumatoid and osteoarthritis
- Achilles tendonitis
- Avoiding or postponing ankle fusion or replacement surgery due to advanced arthritis
How Do I Choose an Ankle Brace?
After a podiatric evaluation, you and your foot and ankle doctor at The Podiatry Group of South Texas will decide what ankle brace is best for you. There are several types, and many may be customized to suit your specific needs.
The most common kind of ankle brace is the simple fabric sleeve. Available over-the-counter, the sleeve provides compression and ankle stability.
Strap-style braces also provide stability. They are a great alternative to traditional ankle taping and can be easily adjusted to fit more loosely or tightly as needed.
Stirrup braces support the ankle after a severe fracture or surgery. They are true rehabilitative devices that are worn long-term.
Finally, hybrid braces combine features of multiple braces. They may include velcro straps and laces and are very stable and easy to wear for long periods of time.
Superior Foot And Ankle Care in South Texas
To learn more about how an ankle brace could help you recover and enjoy your normal activities and sports, please contact The Podiatry Group of South Texas. We have a large staff of highly skilled foot and ankle specialists and 14 state-of-the-art locations in the San Antonio area.