The Netherlands based Delft University of Technology and the Erasmus Medical Centre have developed a new 3D printed ankle device that will reportedly prevent ankle sprains. The EXO-L (short for External Ankle Ligament) is a patented, 3D printed external ligament that replicates the natural motion and anatomy of the ankle to keep it from twisting. The EXO-L seeks to support the ankle when there is a possibility it may be sprained while simultaneously providing freedom of movement. The device is positioned just above the ankle, over the Achilles tendon, and is kept in place by strapping into a special patch on the outside of the shoe. The EXO-L remains inactivated for as long as the ankle’s ligaments remain within the normal range for the sport or activity being played.
Sometimes the opinion of a healthcare professional is required to ensure a sprained ankle is properly healed. If your ankle is sprained, consult with one of our podiatrists from Northeast Wisconsin Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors will attend to all of your foot and ankle needs and answer all of your related questions.
How Does an Ankle Sprain Happen?
This type of injury takes place when the ligaments are torn or stretched beyond their limits. There are multiple ways that the ankle can become injured; however, even the simple act of walking may cause a sprain. If footing is lost or you are walking on uneven terrain, ankle damage may occur.
What are the Symptoms?
- Mild to moderate bruising
- Limited mobility
- Discoloration of the skin, depending on severity
Is there a Way to Care for my Ankle at Home?
Self-care for ankle sprains includes propping the ankle up and keeping it elevated, applying ice packs as needed, and remaining off your feet. Some may also find that wrapping the ankle with an ACE bandage and taking over-the-counter pain relievers are helpful. One of the most important things is to avoid further stress to the affected area.
Preventing a Sprain
- Wearing appropriate shoes for the occasion
- Stretching before exercises and sports
- Knowing your limits can aid in prevention
Treatment of a Sprain
Treatment of a sprain depends on the severity. Many times, people are told to rest and remain off their feet completely, while others are given an air cast, which will allow you to walk while stabilizing the ankle.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Appleton, WI. We offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technologies to meet all your needs.