What is your go-to ankle brace for acute ankle injuries? Don’t have one? It turns out you’re not alone.

When it comes to bracing acute ankle injuries, many AT’s end up using a walking boot because they are lacking a sufficient ankle brace alternative. Seeing this void in the marketplace led the ATs at Ultra Ankle to develop the first ankle brace specifically designed to treat/brace acute ankle injuries – the Ultra CTS (Custom Treatment System).

With the Ultra CTS ankle brace we address the two features needed most when bracing acute ankle injuries – maximum ankle and lower leg stabilization combined with reducing weight bearing pain. 

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C_010270.jpgYour player goes down with an ankle injury during the game. You re-tape the ankle but he still has too much weight bearing pain to continue. You try a lace-up but that doesn’t help. Game over for him…or is it? 

When an ankle injury occurs during competition all eyes turn to the athletic trainer to assess the severity of the injury and report on when they can safely get the player back in the game. Athletic trainers are expected to act quickly and efficiently under pressure, whether it be from the coach or on a national stage such as professional sporting event, which is why it’s important to correctly diagnose and remedy in-game ankle injuries as they happen.

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Syndesmotic ankle injuries are causing athletic trainers all kinds of fits. They take so long to heal and the athlete gets impatient, it’s just not an easy fix…or is it?  Here are the two most important things you need to know when treating a high ankle injury:

Compressing the Tibia and Fibula

Every athletic trainer knows the high ankle injury is more severe than low ankle injuries and they take longer to heal.  The ankle externally rotates which forces apart the medial and lateral aspects of the mortise, respectively the tibial and fibular malleoli.  This movement can stretch or tear the ligaments and membrane that hold the tibia and fibula together.  Fixing the high ankle injury involves compressing the tib/fib together which will take stress away from the damaged ligaments allowing them to heal with less pain.   (more…)

The challenge with treating patients or athletes with acute ankle injures is they typically require two ankle braces for treatment.  The initial treatment requires a more supportive restrictive ankle brace, and then as the ankle heals and more mobility is prescribed, a lower profile less restrictive ankle brace is preferred.  Medical professionals on the clinical side are faced with billing patients for two ankle braces, which is not in the patient’s best interest.  At Ultra Ankle® we saw this dilemma medical professionals face when treating acute ankle injuries so we developed PerformaFit® Detachable Shell Technology that allows one ankle brace to be used for both acute injury treatment and active rehabilitation.

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When we were developing the Ultra CTS® acute injury brace we were really astounded at the level of comfort and stability you can achieve by compressing the Tibia and Fibula together, especially with syndesmotic injuries.  However the key was to provide stable compression up to 8 inches above the malleolus.  Tape alone could not provide the structural integrity necessary to stabilize the lower leg and ease pain. Most rigid plastic ankle braces were too low on the leg to provide enough compression, plus they were so rigid making them uncomfortable.  This data lead us to develop the first PerformaFit® detachable shell technology that provided significant Tib/Fib compression and stabilization, easing weight bearing pain, promoting early activity after injury.

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Here’s the scenario: a player goes down with an ankle injury. The athletic trainer brings the player back to the sidelines, takes off his or her shoe and sock and begins to tape the injured ankle.  After a roll of tape the player hops off the taping table to give it a try but is still hobbling around, unable to tolerate the pain.  Why? You just put the best tape job of your life on that ankle, it should be stable. Here’s the thing, it’s not the ankle instability that is causing the pain, it’s the impact. Tape alone cannot reduce weight-bearing impact. So what options do have to reduce impact – and the pain associated with it, thus allowing the player to return quickly, safely and relatively pain free to competition?

Reducing painful weight-bearing impact from acute ankle injury is the key to a quick return to activity. Tape can’t reduce ankle impact, lace-ups can’t reduce impact, any ankle brace that has a soft bottom or open heel section can’t reduce impact. You must use an ankle brace that “unloads” the ankle to reduce painful weight-bearing impact. Unloading means the ankle brace is absorbing the impact or energy, not the sore ankle.

To achieve maximum ankle unloading, the ankle brace must be made with a semi-rigid resin having a hinged cuff U-shaped design. The hinge is important because it allows the ankle brace to move with the ankle, staying securely in place maintaining long-lasting support. The cuff which wraps around the posterior lower leg is extremely important because it absorbs the impact and transfers that impact/energy to the lower leg. This technology is efficient in ankle unloading because it creates significant stabilization and support due to the U-shape semi-rigid design in both the vertical and horizontal planes.

At Ultra Ankle® we have developed two ankle bracing technologies that will unload the ankle. The Ultra High-5® is a hinged-cuff design that is recommended for chronic ankle instability and reoccurring joint pain. The Ultra CTS® is a hinged-cuff detachable shell design that is recommended for acute ankle injury treatment and rehabilitation. The Ultra CTS® provides maximum lower leg compression and stabilization with significant ankle unloading to reduce weight bearing pain. The Ultra CTS® is the ankle brace every athletic trainer should have available on game day.

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