The US Open tennis men’s semi final matches have been entertaining. The afternoon match between Roger Federer and the eventual winner Novak Djokovic was a long hard battle. I am currently watching Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal playing an exciting match. Many of the rallies have been long in duration with some incredible ball placements.
During the match I noticed that Andy Murray was wearing an ankle brace which appeared to be an AirCast A60™ ankle brace. The brace he was wearing was a protective ankle brace. This ankle brace allows him to sense if he is about roll over on his ankles. Andy Murray suffered an ankle roll over injury during the French Open in May 2011. This past ankle injury does not appear to be hindering his play in the US Open.
If you suffer have from an ankle sprains while playing recreational or competitive sports you can understand how your ability to run, start, stop, turn, jump or land is compromised. Assuming no breaking of bones has occurred during the ankle roll over an ankle sprain is caused by a tearing of the ankle ligaments crossing the outside of the ankle joint. The rehabilitation of an ankle sprain requires a number of steps:
The rehabilitation process begins by reducing the swelling and pain around the ankle joint using compression, ice and elevation.
Once the pain and swelling have been reduced strengthening exercises for muscles around the ankle joint
Modified activity can begin.
Eventually proprioception exercises are prescribed to reestablish sensors on the ankle ligaments. These sensors give continuing feedback to the brain about the position of the ankle joint while running, turning, jumping or landing.
Using a protective ankle brace such as a AirCast A60 can enhance proprioception and possibly prevent an ankle rollover
A protective ankle brace can be prescribed to individuals with a high probability of an ankle roll over due to a laterally unstable foot and lower leg structure. Over the counter protective ankle braces are considered ankle foot orthotics.
In some cases, a custom made ankle foot orthotic can be prescribed if the ankle joint becomes too unstable for an over the counter ankle brace. A custom ankle foot orthotic requires a cast of the foot and lower leg. Custom ankle foot orthotics addresses the foot instability as well as providing protection for the ankle ligaments.
Lateral ankle instability is just one of the indications for the use of a custom ankle foot orthotic. Ankle arthritis, extremely flat feet and drop foot are other indications for an ankle foot orthotic.
Unfortunately, Andy Murray lost his match. The pairing for US Open final is Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. It should be a good match.