Ankle brace, do I need one?

First, it is important to distinguish an ankle sprain vs/ankle fracture


The Ottawa Ankle Rules are a set of clinical guidelines used by healthcare professionals to help determine whether a patient with an ankle injury needs an X-ray to rule out a fracture. These rules are designed to reduce unnecessary X-rays and healthcare costs while maintaining patient safety.

The Ottawa Ankle Rules are applicable to patients aged 18 and older.


Here are the criteria for using the Ottawa Ankle Rules:

Pain in the malleolar zone (the bony parts on the inside and outside of the ankle), and Any of the following:

a. Bone tenderness at the posterior edge or tip of the lateral malleolus (the outer ankle bone), or b. Bone tenderness at the posterior edge or tip of the medial malleolus (the inner ankle bone), or c. Inability to bear weight both immediately after the injury and in the emergency department or clinic.


If a patient meets any of these criteria, an X-ray is typically recommended to evaluate for a possible ankle fracture. If the patient does not meet any of these criteria, an X-ray may not be necessary. These rules help guide healthcare professionals in making informed decisions about the need for X-ray imaging, which can help reduce radiation exposure and healthcare costs while maintaining appropriate patient care.


It's important to note that healthcare protocols and guidelines may evolve over time, so it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for the most up-to-date information and recommendations regarding ankle injuries.


When to use an ankle brace?

Ankle Sprains: Ankle braces are often used to support and stabilize the ankle joint following a sprain, helping to prevent further injury.


Chronic Ankle Instability: People with recurrent ankle sprains or chronic instability may wear ankle braces to improve joint stability.


Post-Injury Recovery: Ankle braces are commonly used during the rehabilitation phase after ankle injuries or surgeries to aid in the healing process.


Preventative Measures: Athletes and individuals at risk of ankle injuries may wear ankle braces as a preventive measure during sports or physical activities.


Arthritis: Ankle braces can provide support and reduce pain for those with ankle arthritis.


Tendonitis: Individuals with ankle tendonitis may use ankle braces to reduce strain on the affected tendons.


Overuse Injuries: Ankle braces can be used to manage overuse injuries or conditions like Achilles tendonitis.


Eversion or Inversion Control: Some braces are designed to control eversion (outward rolling) or inversion (inward rolling) of the ankle, depending on the specific needs of the user.


Support During Physical Activities: Athletes in various sports often use ankle braces to provide extra support and reduce the risk of injury during competition.


Protection from Re-injury: Ankle braces can help protect the ankle from reinjury, particularly after a previous ankle problem.


It's important to note that the choice of an ankle brace and its specific use should be based on an individual's condition, the severity of the injury, and recommendations from a healthcare professional.