The Mechanical Functionality of the EXO-L Ankle Brace: Assessment With a 3-Dimensional Computed Tomography Stress Test

Roeland P. Kleipool, Jerry J. Natenstedt, Geert J. Streekstra, Johannes G. G. Dobbe, Rogier M. Gerards, Leendert Blankevoort, Gabriëlle J. M. Tuijthof

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A new type of ankle brace (EXO-L) has recently been introduced. It is designed to limit the motion of most sprains without limiting other motions and to overcome problems such as skin irritation associated with taping or poor fit in the sports shoe. To evaluate the claimed functionality of the new ankle brace in limiting only the motion of combined inversion and plantar flexion. Controlled laboratory study. In 12 patients who received and used the new ankle brace, the mobility of the joints was measured with a highly accurate and objective in vivo 3-dimensional computed tomography (3D CT) stress test. Primary outcomes were the ranges of motion as expressed by helical axis rotations without and with the ankle brace between the following extreme positions: dorsiflexion to plantar flexion, and combined eversion and dorsiflexion to combined inversion and plantar flexion. Rotations were acquired for both talocrural and subtalar joints. A paired Student t test was performed to test the significance of the differences between the 2 conditions (P ≤ .05). The use of the ankle brace significantly restricted the rotation of motion from combined eversion and dorsiflexion to combined inversion and plantar flexion in both the talocrural (P = .004) and subtalar joints (P < .001). No significant differences were found in both joints for the motion from dorsiflexion to plantar flexion. The 3D CT stress test confirmed that under static and passive testing conditions, the new ankle brace limits the inversion-plantar flexion motion that is responsible for most ankle sprains without limiting plantar flexion or dorsiflexion. This test demonstrated its use in the objective evaluation of braces
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-176
JournalAmerican journal of sports medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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