A NOVEL DESIGN OF AN ANKLE BRACE TO STABILIZE THE ANTERIOR TALOFIBULAR LIGAMENT DURING ACTIVITY
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AuthorWilliams, Jania D
alternative bracing, ankle joint instability, ankle sprains, anterior talo-fibular ligament, chronic ankle instability, muscle atrophy of the lower leg
MetadataShow full item record
TitleA NOVEL DESIGN OF AN ANKLE BRACE TO STABILIZE THE ANTERIOR TALOFIBULAR LIGAMENT DURING ACTIVITY
AbstractAcute ankle sprains are one of the most common musculoskeletal injuries that affect everyone. Gait and muscle strength are negatively impacted, especially by chronic ankle sprains. The period of rest and immobilization causes muscle atrophy from nonuse. In this study, three braces were used: a hinged design, lace up, and engineered brace. The engineered brace’s main components are neoprene material, a drawstring, and elastic band. Three testing systems were used to capture data: Mat Scan, 2D gait analysis, and electromyography (EMG). Mat Scan uses a pressure mat for single and double limb support balancing. 2D gait analysis uses Simi Aktisys software to test movements of the hip, knee, and ankle joint with LED markers. EMG measures muscle activity from electrical signals of the targeted muscles: tibialis anterior(TA), peroneal longus(PL), lateral gastrocnemius(LG), and medial stabilizing structures(MSS), bilaterally at 3 walking speeds. Mat Scans COF testing revealed anterior shifts due to higher activity from plantar flexors. Patients compensate for muscle weakness by increasing loads on the anterior portion of one limb and the posteriorly on another. The hinged design brace increased pressure and load to the uninjured limb. The elastic band from the engineered brace and the lace up style brace’s compression enabled the joint to bear more weight and perform optimally. A one-way ANOVA was used to analyze the hip, knee, and ankle for each phase at all three speeds combined. All joints exceeded the confidence interval, except for the hip joint in the engineered brace. This phase also contained the lowest p-values. Analyzing the EMG data revealed the muscle strength and tendon condition. TA performed consistently and best in initial data. PL had optimal performance while wearing the lace up and engineered brace due compression. LG performed poorly in all designs due to a lack of support in stabilizing the joint. MSS performed the most inconsistently, but the best when lateral support was present, like the engineered brace. Expansion of this research should include manipulation of the tension band to vary in width and strength. Athletes and patients with preexisting conditions displayed the need for specialized sizing and bracing options.