Sunday, December 7, 2008

What A Difference A Day Makes (and a good ankle support brace!!!) Day 2 of my ankle sprain saga

Yesterday was pretty awful with the right ankle. (Click here to read what happened)I did 6 sessions of Ice/Compression/Elevation/Interferential Stimulation throughout the day. The worst was getting around on crutches. I've never had to crutches in my life and I hope I never have to again. But here's my problem. I'm like the typical guy. I don't like to let injuries slow me down. I need to get up ad get going again.

The support the E.R. nurses dressed me with was adequate at best. I understand what they were trying to do. Lock my ankle from any lateral or medial movement. First was a 3" ace bandage in a figure 8 around the ankle and heel. Next a soft fluffy cushion layer over the foot, ankle and 3/4 of the way of the calf. Then a material that molded to the medal and lateral (inside and outside) of my foot-ankle and calf that eventually hardened into a rigid, almost cast-like material. Then, the entire thing was wrapped up and secured in a 4" Ace bandage. With all of this, there was still some medial and lateral play in the ankle and it was difficult to get around. It was bulky, awkward, but sufficient. They did exactly what they were supposed to do. Make sure it's not broken, secure it up and refer me to a specialist.
I went out to a holiday party last night with my hospital setup and crutches. Hobbling around on crutches wasn't much fun and due to the slight instability in the current bracing, I'd get twinges of pain. I needed something better and I knew exactly what it was....

Years ago when I sprained my right ankle for the last time doing something relatively simple, I discovered a really great tools that allowed me to get up and walk like a normal human being again. What is it? An Ankle Air-Stirrup Brace

<--that ankle="" brace="" div="" my="" new="" s="">

The one I'm using is called the Air-Lite Ankle Stirrup from Core Products. Now, there's a secret to using this thing. You can't use it like it appears in the picture...there's one thing missing. I have had many patients come in from their orthopedists with this thing strapped to their foot, on top of their sock and in maybe a flip-flop type shoe or a slipper. This is absolutely, 100% wrong.
It's meant to be put inside a lace up shoe or sneaker. I prefer high top sneakers like basketball style sneakers for this. Here's a few pictures of how this thing is properly worn. Yes, this is me in my brace.
Under my sock I have a 3" Ace bandage wrapped in a moderately snug figure-8. Then the sock, then the ankle air-stirrup. You really have to pull your laces wide in order to fit your foot and ankle into your sneaker. Then, you tighten up the laces, tie your laces and then when you stand. Ahhhhhh, stability. I can walk 98% normally on this thing now. It allows my ankle to flex up and down but locks it from bending or twisting (or rolling) to the inside or outside.
It's simple to put on and simple to take off. This makes getting around SIGNIFICANTLY easier. This is hold the ankle so stable that I can stand on the side of the sole of my sneaker and my ankle remains locked in neutral. This this is also very simple to take off and putting back on for my frequent therapy sessions, making it all much less of a hassle.
So, now, the "tough guy" can prevail. I can stand, walk and now, tomorrow morning I can work. But Ill be taking my own medicine with frequent ice/interferential sessions. I'll use Graston Technique to help further break up the bruising and reduce the swelling and I'll get my wife to adjust my ankle. Yes, I said adjust my ankle. And no, I'm not crazy. When one side sprains, the other side of the ankle gets jammed up. Ever jam your finger? Well, this isn't much different. Ultimately I need all those little joints in my ankle to function normally. Chiropractic helps restore normal joint movement and that something I need too. It's not just about the pain, the swelling and the bruising. When it's all said and done, the joints need to function normally again too. It's kind of a whole package deal.
Thanks to my ankle stirrup, life will be good again for me as I make my recovery from this thing.
'nuff said

Dr. Narson is a 2-term past president of the Florida Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries, Physical Fitness & Rehabilitation and was honored as the recipient of the coveted Chiropractic Sports Physician of the Year Award in 1999-2000. He practices in Miami Beach, Florida at the Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center; A Facility for Natural Sports Medicine.

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