Talk about toughness! The U.S. Men’s 4×400 relay team was plagued by injury, but none of them top it off like Manteo Mitchell. About halfway through his leg of the preliminary race, he heard a pop and immediately knew something was wrong. With his teammates in mind, he finished his portion and then limped to the sidelines.
After the race Manteo Mitchell learned that he had a complete break of his left fibula (calf bone). Basically, he ran 200 meters with a broken leg and still finished with a very respectable time of 46.1 seconds. In fact, the U.S. team tied with the Bahamas for the fastest time ever in the first round of an Olympic relay race.
Mitchell will spend the next 4-6 weeks on crutches and in a walking brace. Walking braces, also known as medical walking boots, help support the injury while it heals. The walking brace stabilizes the bones and protects the leg from impact with its hard exterior shell. Earlier in the week Mitchell had slipped on stairs and fallen, but thought nothing of it. It’s amazing how a such a small incident led to a large injury. The human body accomplishes incredible feats, and it’s a good thing that we have devices like walking boots to support us!
When you experience an ankle sprain or broken ankle, a good medical walking boot is key to your recovery. They help protect your foot from further injury and allow you to walk and go about your daily activities. That’s why we recommend the Aircast XP Walking Brace.
The Aircast XP has a semi-rigid shell that protects the injured area the same way a cast does, without feeling as constricting. It’s a lot lighter than other walking boots, plus it’s low profile so you can walk with a natural gait. The bottom line is that it’s much more comfortable than other walking braces. What really makes the Aircast XP stand apart is its aircell support. These aircells support your ankle and provide compression to help reduce swelling and promote healing.
Because our feet carry the weight of our entire body, foot injuries can be a major hindrance to daily activities. Just getting around from room to room can be a painful experience without added support, which is why many doctors recommend patients wear a medical walking boot after foot injuries or surgery.
If you ever find yourself wearing a walking brace, keep in mind that there are many accessories to help make the healing process easier. Here are three of our favorite accessories for walking boots that we sell on BetterBraces.com:
Aircast Sock Liner – A soft and comfortable replacement liner to keep your foot warm and comfortable when wearing your Aircast walking brace. Helps reduce skin irritation and rashes.
ProCare Evenup Shoe Balancer – If you ever put on your walking brace to find that your other leg is now shorter, look no further! The ProCare Evenup Shoe Balancer is designed to help equalize your limb length. It’s easy to put on and reduces strain on your body.
Aircast Heel Wedge – Designed to be inserted into Aircast walking boots to provide additional Achilles tendon support. You can adjust the number of heel wedges used to the amount of support you desire.
Holly B. is an active professional in her late twenties who spends her free time playing recreational flag football and league basketball. She recently tore her ACL and will be sharing her experiences with us as she works towards getting back into sports.
After my knee injury and newly-created fascination with ACL knee braces, I’ve started becoming more aware of how braces really impact patient recovery.
A couple years ago my mother-in-law was spending a lazy Saturday out in her garden pulling up weeds. When she stepped off the retaining wall, her foot got caught on her stepladder and she ended up losing her balance and in the emergency room. What we thought was a nasty fall was actually 16 broken bones and the most swollen limb I have ever seen. Seriously, I never knew a broken foot could cause so much trouble… it was pretty horrible. (And I have gross post-surgery pictures to prove it… metal hooks and everything!)
One of the saving graces during her recovery time – which took over a year – was her medical foot brace. After being off her feet for 4 months, the foot support brace allowed her to walk around safely and provided protection against further injury. Without it she would still be stuck in bed watching TV and listening to audio tapes. The foot brace support was also easy to take on and off – which let her sleep comfortably, unlike her cast. She was even able to sport fancy Christmas socks with her foot brace!
After a foot injury remember to ask your doctor about getting the best medical foot brace, so you can get on your own feet and start doing the things you enjoy again!
P.S. Mom recommends having a medical professional show you how to take foot braces on and off so you can use the device with confidence.