ANALYSIS OF THE STABILIZING EFFECT OF THE AIRCAST ANKLE BRACE FOR WALKING ALONG AN INCLINED PLANE

  • Reiner Fritsch
  • Silke Däumling
  • Hartmut Riehle
Keywords: aircast ankle brace, walking, stabilizing

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: For functional treatment of acute ankle sprains various ortheses - special shoes and braces - are in use to prevent inversion movements of the ankle while allowing limited dorsi-plantar-flexion movement (Segesser 1986). For the evaluation of ankle orthoses most of the studies use static and quasi-static methods. In contrast to this, only a few studies are available that were made under dynamic or functional conditions (Kimura 1987, Stüssi 1989, McPoil 1991, Jerosch 1994, Nigg 1995). To compare seven different orthoses under functional conditions, Scheuffelen, Gollhofer and Lohrer (1993) applied controlled inversion movements of 20 and 30 degrees. A significant reduction of the induced inversion displacement was observed in all devices, although a complete inhibition of this movement was not possible. Of the seven different ankle braces, the AIRCAST stirrup offered the best protection against stationary induced inversion displacement, while simultaneously maintaining high functional innervation. Nigg (1995) recommends, on the basis of his examination report, analyzing the functionality of ankle braces with a combination of quasi-static and dynamic movement-tests. In particular, he proposes checking the functionality of orthoses with movement-tasks in real-life situations. Therefore the purpose of this experimental study is the verification of the joint stabilizing effect of the AIRCAST ankle brace for walking on an inclined plane with induced inversion displacement in one foot. If the 'AIRCAST ankle brace' sufficiently protects against inversion movements, a foot walking along an inclined plane cannot take steps as extremely inverted as is the case with an unstabilized foot. Therefore stabilization with the 'AIRCAST ankle brace' should make it possible to walk with less deviation in the heel area.