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woodcutter's avatar

Is there a non bulky ankle brace that will support side to side movement that won't ruin the inside of shoes?

Asked by woodcutter (16327points) September 5th, 2010

I have wrecked my ankles too many times in my life and they will roll over if I’m not careful, mostly my right side. The air splints available at the ER do the trick but are bulky and destroy the insides of shoes. I have been using an elastic/ Velcro brace made by “Mueller” for the last two months and thought I had found something. It’s compact and was doing the trick until today when I was out in the mountains with my dog and it rolled again and down I went. Oh, the usual intense pain that almost makes me pass out hit, and to make things worse I was about a mile from the trail head. It’s neat that my pup sensed I was in trouble and thought enough to take rest stops often on the way back to the truck. This is really starting to suck. Any ideas?

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7 Answers

Coloma's avatar

I have a weak ankle that I sprain once a year or so. I have a slip on type brace made from wetsuit type material, got it at an R.E.I. athletic store. I want to say it is made by Nike, but I cannot find it right now. haha

Maybe just tape your ankle, and, don’t laugh, you can buy really good adhesive leg wraps for horses that work great! Wrap smoothly and snugly and stick to themselves.

Used to work out well for me when my horse and I both came up lame. lol

woodcutter's avatar

@Coloma You only have one episode a year? That would be so nice even though it is hell each time. This new brace has something hard made into it to make it stiff so it doesn’t flex as much and was working so well. It’s so disappointing. I probably need to have some work done to both ankles if there is such a procedure to tighten things up. Whenever I have a few thousand dollars sitting around doing nothing, Ha!

Coloma's avatar


Yes, if your ankles are going out chronically you might need some sort of ligament surgery. I worry about mine too as I have sprained it severely two years in a row now.

I had to have a pin put in my shoulder years ago from dislocations from horse wrecks and various other injuries. Yes, very painful. This last time in Feb. I was getting on a plane for a 13 hour flight to Taiwan, I tripped on the boarding ramp and the ankle gave out, I was in agony for the whole flight, no way to elevate my foot and miserable leaky ice bag they gave me.

I had to walk barefoot through the airport and was lucky I got my boot off right away after I got to my seat because the swelling was so bad I’d of had to cut it off.

Sucked! lol

BarnacleBill's avatar

I, too, have horribly weak ankles, and a history of chronic injury. The trainer at the gym gave me an exercise to do, which really has helped strengthen my ankles. I do this laying in bed at night or when I’m laying on the couch, reading. Lift your leg slightly, and with your leg extended, point your toes, and trace the alphabet in the air with your toe. Do the full alphabet at least 3 times a day per ankle. I also do 100 point-and-flexes per foot, where laying down with my leg lifted, I point my toes away from me then pull them back towards me.

The exercises seem to help me a lot.

woodcutter's avatar

I have been told to not depend on those splints exclusively because the ankle will not get strong enough to support itself if it is always supported. But really I cannot bear the thought of these episodes occurring ever, it’s really bad each time. So it is worth it to me to have the “crutch” 24/7 just to be sure I don’t go through it. The exercises may help but I believe these ankles are so wrecked that they will always be a rollover risk, not to mention how lucky I’ve been that I haven’t injured something else during one of these sudden and unexpected wipeouts. Arrrgh :/

BarnacleBill's avatar

Are you wearing hiking boots with good ankle support when you’re out in the woods with the dog?

woodcutter's avatar

@BarnacleBill Yes, oh yes, I would not dare to wear sneakers or sandals outside. Even in the house I’m wearing the shoes and brace as I could have a wipe- out if I step too close to the edge of an area rug or a pet toy. Sort of like work boots that go maybe 3” above the ankle or what are called hiker shoes. Believe me, just thinking of one of those episodes is enough to make me cringe—cringing now—,and the sickening “pop” sound when she rolls over, gross. It’s become a habit to look carefully where I step when walking so I can hopefully avoid anything tricky on the ground. There are times when I feel it getting ready to turn and I’m able to pull out of it and make the save. Then there are those times when I find myself on the ground so fast it feels like I stop breathing for at least a minute while writhing in agony. The doc said sometimes a break would have been better? I find that a sucky first choice if it were up to me. This evening after work we went down back for our walk and it felt ok. This last one wasn’t as bad as some of the others, at least my foot didn’t swell badly and turn purple. This problem seems like a common thing so I was wondering what others do who don’t want surgery. Taping just seems like a mess every day.

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