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Orthopedic Ankle Braces

Updated on September 6, 2010

Basics Of Orthopedic Ankle Braces

Ankle injuries are one of the most commonly experienced injuries by both athletes and regular people alike and that’s the reason why orthopedic ankle braces are really important. Orthopedic ankle braces basically keep your ankle stable and alleviate the pressure off it by immobilizing it. This is very fundamental as ankle injuries such as sprains and strains are extremely painful when moved. Orthopedic ankle braces makes the pain more manageable and allows the injured part to heal by significantly reducing the trauma inflicted to it when walking.

There are actually many types of orthopedic ankle braces utilized in treating ankle injuries. Normally, rigid ankle braces are the ones immediately placed when an ankle injuty happens. This type of ankle braces completely immobilizes the ankle so the patient cannot move the injured part. Immobilizing the ankle immediately after injury is crucial as the injured person suffers from extreme pain even from a small movement. Furthermore, immobilizing the injured ankle protects the newly injured area from further damage or injury.

Orthopedic Ankle Braces
Orthopedic Ankle Braces

Another kind of orthopedic ankle braces are the functional ankle braces. This type includes  Aircast or semirigid braces, soft braces, and lace-up braces. In comparison with rigid ankle braces, these types of braces allows some mobility to the ankle. A recent study even showed that treating acute ankle sprains with functional ankle braces have better results as compared to the treatment that involves restricting the ankle with rigid ankle braces. Those who treated their ankle injury with functional ankle braces have shorter recovery period, less swelling and instability, and greater overall satisfaction.
 
Furthermore, athletes involved in sports that are susceptible to ankle injuries such as basketball and football, can use a special type of orthopedic ankle braces known as prophylactic ankle braces. These types of braces can serve as a prevention measure against ankle injuries. They are very suitable for athletes who have a history of ankle injury thereby lessening the probability of recurring injury. The disadvantage of using such type of bracers is that it can restrict ankle movement which some people find uncomfortable thereby performance suffers.

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