MalleoLoc ankle orthosis “The right treatment lays the foundations“
Ankle injuries are not to be taken lightly – Dr. Sven Authorsen is sure of that. The orthopedist stresses the importance of rapid, adequate treatment that prevents further injury in the case of a sprain. For him, orthoses are the foundation upon which recovery is built.
What factors are crucial when treating a sprain?
Dr. Authorsen: Whether or not it becomes a serious injury is down to the therapist. The high rate of recurring injury shows that many sprains do not heal to a satisfactory degree. This is why we must think about stabilizing the joint right from the outset. If I choose the right treatment straightaway, I also lay the right foundations for the next stage. The MalleoLoc is a great example of this.
How does the ankle orthosis work?
Dr. Authorsen: It can be adapted to the patient’s body shape, ensuring a good fit – which is a fundamental requirement if a repeat injury is to be avoided. I make absolutely certain that it fits properly. What’s important is that the orthosis allows me to focus on functional treatment at an early stage and vary the load that the joint is subjected to. You can also do this with a tape bandage, but it’s much more difficult. I usually instruct patients to wear the MalleoLoc for three weeks. During this time, the rigid sole of the orthosis also stimulates the sensorimotor function of plantar flexion, which is an important preventive tool. Afterwards, I recommend the MalleoTrain for six weeks. This supports proprioception during movement. After that , patients come in for a final check-up.
There is often a very long time between a person sustaining an injury and a physician treating them. What can you do to prevent this?
Dr. Authorsen: It’s not always the fault of the unsuspecting patient who thinks that such a minor injury will get better quickly. The notorious slump in people seeing physicians at the weekend is often the problem. By the time someone has had to go to the emergency room, the horse has usually already bolted. Clinics are rarely equipped to deal with such injuries, either in terms of staff or equipment. An ointment dressing prescribed by a first-year assistant physician cannot be considered adequate treatment. And there are never any functional aids at these clinics. This means that the swelling lasts longer, prolonging the healing phase unnecessarily. The main problem here is that waiting three days to start proper treatment adds three weeks onto the overall recovery time.
How important is prevention?
Dr. Authorsen: It plays a vital role and is something we should be teaching even to children. This is something that the German Professional Association of Orthopedic Surgeons has recognized. Physicians like me visit schools and take a close look at pupils’ feet. If someone has a weak foot or ankle, solutions such as foot orthoses with proprioceptive action can help to build a healthy defense against sprains.
Pictures: Stefan Durstewitz