The Aircast AirLift PTTD Brace has a airbag for under the arch. I am showing the medial side (arch side) of the foot. The main strap of the brace was pulled forward to show the air bag, but will pull up on the arch. The brace is taller than a standard ankle brace, and you are in control how much to inflate the bag and how much tension you put on the strap. Standing next to the brace is my orthotic device. This device by itself made her arch too sore and even though it controlled the pronation motion and protected the foot, it could not be made comfortable. The combination of brace and orthotic is working well right now.
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Sunday, November 4, 2012
Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction: A Useful Brace to help in the Rehabilitation
Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction is a devastating problem. The earlier you start to support the ankle as the arch begins to collapse inward, the better. Most ankle braces tend to pronate the arch, definitely holding it in the wrong direction in an effort to stablize post ankle sprain. Recently, one of my patients saw an orthopedist who recommended this brace. I have never seen it before, but was impressed. I am not totally sure of the success of the air bag, but the basic design of the brace will work to fight against the arch collapse and inward collapse of the ankle. If we combine this brace with supportive orthotics, varus or medial shoe or insert wedging, stable shoes, an anti-inflammatory program, and of utmost importance a gradual strengthening program, then the patient may have a fighting chance.
Here is a reminder video of the posterior tibial tendon strengthening exercises.
Since you need to get out of the brace at times, or if the brace is not a good fit for you, posterior tibial tendon taping is still a great option. It takes a good 10 times with any taping technique to learn the right tension to put on the tape and the right variation that works for you.
Here are a photo from my patient showing the air bag placed in the arch. Since many posterior tibial tendon dysfunction patients have significant arch pain, this may or may not cushion the interface between the brace and the shoe or orthotic device.