The Aircast splint is an orthosis that serves to stabilize the ankle.

What is an Aircast rail?

The Aircast splint is an orthosis that serves to stabilize the ankle.

The Aircast splint acts as an ankle stabilizer. It belongs to the group of orthoses. Orthoses are medical aids used to stabilize, relieve, guide, immobilize, and correct limbs.

Aircast Rails are the most prescribed splint for ankle and ankle injuries. They are available in different versions in medical supply stores or in the internet trade.

Shapes, types & types

The Aircast rail is available in a version for the right and left foot. The splint is an orthosis for the stabilization of the ankle. This limits pro- and supination. The pronation of the foot refers to the elevation of the outer edge of the foot while simultaneously lowering the inner edge of the foot. Supination is an external movement of the foot. The outer edge of the foot sinks, the inner edge of the foot rises.

The rail model has integrated, anatomically shaped shells. The so-called ATF tieback additionally stabilizes the ankle joint. The supination and pronation restriction can be adjusted individually thanks to this tension band. Even with heavy swelling, the application of this orthosis is quite simple. Thanks to step-in design, you can slip your foot directly into the rail. The Aircast rail does not affect the rolling action of the foot.

Other models also have a duplex air cushion. This reduces pain and swelling in ankle injuries. Anatomically shaped outer shells and adjustable Velcro straps ensure a perfect fit. Again, the rolling process is not affected. Still other models are intended primarily for acute care of injuries.

Structure & functionality

Aircast rails are usually worn after injury to the ankle. Most of these injuries are caused by sports overturning or falls. These lesions should never be underestimated. If they are not treated properly or not at all, an instability in the ankle can occur. This can not be corrected later and leads to numerous complaints or overload symptoms.

After most joint and ligament injuries, orthoses such as the Aircast splint are used. They stabilize the ankle, which has become unstable due to the injuries. With the rails it is possible to walk normally. The rolling movements of the foot are hardly limited. The sewn-in rails prevent them from being bent again. The splint thereby holds the joint in place. Rotational movements are not possible due to the lateral restriction by the rail. The injured joint is spared by this immobilization. Thanks to the splint, surgery or gypsum treatment for ankle injuries is nowadays only required in exceptional cases.

For most injuries, the splint must be worn permanently for the first two weeks. In particular, at night, there may be movements during sleep, which could further damage the irritated joint. This is prevented by the rail. From the third week, the track usually only needs to be created during the day. With the beginning of the fourth week, the rail is increasingly omitted. The next four to six weeks, it is recommended to wear the rail during sports.

Medical and health benefits

Indications for an Aircast splint are acute ankle injuries. These include, for example, Distortions Grade I, II and III. Distortion is a closed injury of a joint caused by an excess of physiological range of motion. Distortion of the ankle leads to overstretching or to a rupture of the inner or outer sidebands. In the vernacular one speaks also of a spraying of the ankle. This manifests itself in severe pain and swelling. The strain on the joint is extremely painful, but still possible.

If the joint can no longer be loaded, the bone is probably involved. In such cases, treatment with the Aircast splint is not sufficient. In order to exclude a bone involvement, usually an X-ray image or an MRI image is made.

The Aircast rails are also used for postoperative care. Such operations are performed on ligament tears or ankle fractures. Also, chronic ligament instability can lead to a need to support a splint, especially in stress situations. Chronic ligament instabilities may arise despite early treatment. Most of the time these instabilities are an out-of-band weakness. This can cause the ankle to buckle even on minor occasions. In addition, it can come with twisting loads to increased joint play. Due to this increased mobility, the articular cartilage is burdened more than usual and permanently damaged. With the help of the Aircast rails, more stability in the joint can be ensured and signs of wear can be prevented.

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