When it comes to ankle injuries, two common treatment options have historically been ankle fusion and ankle braces. However, medical advancements and evolving practices have brought about new insights and options for ankle injury management. In this article, we will explore the updated information regarding ankle fusion, ankle braces, and the innovative Ultra Ankle Ultra CTS to help you make an informed decision about the best course of action for your ankle injury.

Ankle Fusion: A Brief Overview

Ankle fusion, also known as arthrodesis, is a surgical procedure that aims to eliminate motion in the ankle joint. Traditionally, it has been recommended for patients with severe arthritis or those who have not responded to conservative treatments. The procedure involves fusing the bones in the ankle joint together using screws, plates, or rods, thereby reducing pain but also sacrificing ankle mobility.

The Evolution of Ankle Braces

Ankle braces have long been used as a non-surgical alternative for ankle injuries. They provide external support to the ankle joint, aiding in stabilization and preventing excessive movement that can lead to further damage. Over time, advancements in design and materials have significantly improved the effectiveness of ankle braces.

Updated Insights on Ankle Fusion

While ankle fusion remains a viable option for certain cases, advancements in ankle brace technology have reshaped the landscape of ankle injury management. Ankle fusion is a permanent solution that eliminates joint motion and can be effective in relieving pain. However, it also restricts ankle mobility, making activities such as running, jumping, and pivoting more challenging. Additionally, ankle fusion requires a lengthy recovery period and carries the inherent risks associated with surgery.

The Advantages of Ankle Braces

Modern ankle braces offer several advantages over ankle fusion in the management of ankle injuries. They provide external support to the ankle joint while allowing controlled range of motion, thus preserving mobility. Ankle braces are non-invasive, meaning they do not require surgery and carry fewer risks. They can be easily adjusted, customized, and removed as needed, allowing for greater flexibility during rehabilitation. Furthermore, ankle braces can provide ongoing protection, reducing the risk of re-injury and facilitating a quicker return to daily activities and sports.

Introducing the Ultra Ankle Ultra CTS

One notable innovation in the field of ankle braces is the Ultra Ankle Ultra CTS (Custom Treatment System). The Ultra CTS combines the benefits of external ankle support with customizable features that cater to individual needs. This advanced ankle brace is designed to provide superior stability, comfort, and performance. Its adjustable multi-point strapping system was designed to reduce weight-bearing pain and “unload or offload” the ankle. This means the ankle brace will absorb some of the impact from standing or walking that would normally cause joint irritation. The brace distributes this “energy” to the lower leg, bypassing the ankle joint.

Less impact means less pain and ankle joint irritation.

Since ankle arthritis is mainly caused by a history of ankle trauma, which could include multiple ankle sprains or fractures, it stands to reason the ankle may be unstable which is contributing to the joint wear and tear. The Ultra CTS will stabilize and firm up the lower leg and ankle – helping control unwanted joint movement that results in excessive irritation and pain. Since the Ultra CTS has a hinge, full up and down ankle range of motion is encouraged to help keep the muscles strong and the joint flexible.

Choosing the Right Option for You

When it comes to ankle injuries, it is crucial to consult with a qualified medical professional to determine the best treatment approach for your specific condition. While ankle fusion may still be appropriate for severe arthritis or specific cases, ankle braces, such as the Ultra Ankle Ultra CTS, have become a popular and effective choice for many patients due to their versatility, non-invasive nature, and advanced features. They offer improved mobility, reduced risks, and ongoing protection.

5 responses to “Ankle Fusion or Ankle Brace: Making an Informed Decision”

  1. Georgia A Durham says:

    Can this be used if ankle has necrosis?

  2. Gary says:

    I am 66 YO. Have a post trauma left ankle arthritis following a motorcycle accident 30 years ago. I’m scheduled for total ankle replacement in August 2022.
    My main sport is ice-skating. I have 2 questions
    1. Can your brace be worn inside a skating boot?
    2. Do you know if medical insurance would cover the cost of your brace? I have UMR as primary and Medicare as secondary insurance.

    Thank you,

    • ultraankle says:

      Thank you for commenting, Gary!

      The only ankle brace we sell that would fit inside a skate is our Ultra 360. The Ultra 360 is a lace up ankle brace with two figure-8 straps.

      All of our ankle braces have medical reimbursement codes. The Ultra 360 is L1902. Please contact your insurance company directly to inquire about purchasing our products and give them the medical reimbursement code. Unfortunately all coverages are different, so we can’t advise to if your plan covers braces or not.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions.
      Rick Peters, ATC

  3. Kevin verile says: with the pain in my foot.and heel.after an ankle fusion. The nail on the bottom of my foot make it unparalleled to.walk most days. I’m a teacher and I have ro be on my feet. So you think this may help? If it doesn’t can it be returned for money back to try another?
    Please any help or advise will help. I’m 47 and have another 15 or 20 yrs of work ahead. Thank you Kevin


    Thanks for reaching out to Ultra Ankle. We really appreciate it.

    If you have weight bearing pain from your ankle fusion then yes the Ultra CTS can help to unload your ankle and reduce your weight bearing pain. We have a 30 day return policy for a full refund.

    To learn more about how the Ultra CTS can help your ankle condition please visit our Osteoarthritis Page.

    Also, it’s a good idea to watch this brief Ultra CTS Fitting Video.

    Please let me know if you have any other questions.
    Rick Peters ATC

  4. Gene Fake says:

    Had fusion. Need support for golf


    Thanks for reaching out to Ultra Ankle. We really appreciate it.

    If you can answer a few questions for me then I can recommend the appropriate ankle brace for you.
    • So you had an ankle fusion. Do you have any weight bearing pain? That is pain when you stand or walk.
    • Do you have any tender or sore spots around your ankle?

    I look forward to your reply.
    Rick Peters ATC

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Ultra Zoom

Help prevent ankle injuries all season long.

Ultra High-5

Reinforce the ankle after a history of multiple ankle injuries

Ultra CTS

Maximize stabilization to treat acute ankle injuries