Ankle Splinting Information/Techniques

  1. Greetings all, I realize that this topic should probaly go to the orthopedic section, but I thought that I would get a better response from the general nursing section so here goes.

    I year ago this past February I fell down some stairs at work and nearly broke my right ankle. Doctor was honest with me (after I told him to be blunt with me in answering my questions) and told me that I would be better off had I broken my ankle instead because it would have given the force of the fall somewhere else to go than my soft tissue. He explained to me that even with surgery that bones heal easier and better than soft tissue.

    Anyway, off and on I have problems with this same ankle. Namely it prone to injury, and just plain aches to the point that I fear walking on it for I may hurt it again.

    I have found that if I wear a brace under my 8" boots that it gives me enough support that I can handle daily tasks at the mini storage where I work. The brace that I have found most effective is what was called a stirrup brace by the doctor I saw for my ankle. This was the 2nd brace they gave me after the soft-brace or something like that. I do not know if this is the correct name for the brace or not. But it is composed of 2 side pieces of hard plastic with 2 velcro straps that go around the bottom of my leg above the ankle. With a third velcro strap that goes under the heel of my foot.

    In the first year after the injury I went thru 3 of these braces (trying different brand each time one broke) and finally found that the meuller (sp) brand from Wal-Mart was the most comfortable and the strongest brace I could find. Back then I was still renting u-hauls and I would not think twice about going out there and hitching up a double-axle trailer by myself (the ones without hand-cranks are all that u-haul carries). I broke two of the braces doing that. Add to that I am large person with strong leg muscles and you can imagine why these braces would fail.

    My biggest question is how do I know for sure if I have this brace applied exactly right? Even with the brace that I have now, I have to take off my boot and re-adjust the brace once or twice during the day. I do not have to wear but like once a month or less. But I would like to make sure that I am using it correctly.

    Please explain anything and everything above. I am still rather confused about all of this, and I am finding this to be getting very old.


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    About nrw350

    Joined: May '02; Posts: 413; Likes: 21


  3. by   OrthoNutter
    IMHO, fall down the stairs again and this time do the job properly. :chuckle Seriously though, I don't have that much to do with splinted ankles. Most I see out the door have POPs or backslabs on, even if the bones aren't broken. Our orthopods are going through a stage where they believe everyone is an idiot (sometimes true ) and can't be trusted to non weight bear for x amount of days or weeks for the area to heal. So they whack 'em in plaster and give them no choice. :chuckle I have a weak ankle on my R) side from an old horseriding injury and it's always getting sprained when I exercise unless I strap it firmly. Maybe that's something you could have a shot at.
  4. by   disher
    Don't know if you have had your ankle assessed by a physiotherapist in the past. If you haven't you might want to consider this, since physio's are skilled at treating soft tissue injuries like the one you describe.
  5. by   boggle
    Oh Nick,

    Get thee to a physical therapist!!!!!!

    It would probably be good to have that ankle re-evaluated by an orthopod- I suggest one who deals with sports injuries and rehab.
    You will need to see a doc anyway to get a physical therapy referral.

    Once you start therapy, DO YOUR EXERCISES!!!!!! No skipping because you are tired or busy or because they get boring. Keep up with the exercises after therapy ends. You've got to keep strong muscle support around that ankle.

    Also, ask about a technique/manipulation some therapists can do that releases/ realigns tendons. I can't remember the name exactly, something like myo-fascial release?? It can work wonders to return range of motion and relieve pain.

    Did I mention, DO YOUR EXERCISES!!!!!

    I speak from experience on all of the above. My ankle history sounds similar to yours. It took nearly 3 years till all was well, once I found the right doc and returned to therapy. Had the release thing done - a true miracle!!!

    Good luck!!

    By the way, how did you find your way to a nursing B.B. from mini storage? Hope we have been of help!
  6. by   nrw350
    LOL, i am in college right now, and have always been interested in medicine. Was actually consider EMS or Anesthesiaology before I found graphics design. I joined because of my interest and the enjoyment i get from chatting with those in medicine.

  7. by   boggle
    Well welcome Nick.

    I've always thought that art/ graphic design would be a great skill/ help for nursing. So much of our teaching and communication is visual, (and so many of our visual resources are so poorly done!!). Sure could use some of your skill!

    So maybe you will find your way into nursing /medical type work after all!!