How does the Achilles Offloading System improve patient compliance?
Management of any Achilles tendon pathology requires long-term use of an immobilizing device. There is a trend toward nonoperative management of Achilles tendon ruptures which mandates wearing a walking boot for 12–16 weeks. This is a daunting challenge, particularly when the traditional 30-40 mm heel wedges are worn bilateral. Women might be able to wear an extreme elevated wedge shoe on the contralateral side, but what do men wear? That was motivation for the AeroSpring Achilles Offloading System.
With a simple 1-inch or 2 cm heel wedge, a standard athletic shoe can be worn on the contralateral side of the carbon fiber brace. Gait studies have verified that this system provides almost no disturbance compared to standard walking boots. Thus, the common knee, hip and back pain experienced with walking boots have been eliminated with the AeroSpring Brace System.
If a brace system is lightweight, with minimal contact with the lower leg, it will be comfortable and will likely be accepted by patients for long-term use. This has been our experience with testing of the AeroSpring Achilles Offloading Systems. Patients are totally comfortable and do not mind wearing the system. If they do not have to remove the brace to drive an automobile, compliance improves. With improved compliance, we can expect improved clinical outcomes. Here are a few reasons
- Patients prefer a lightweight brace.
- There is a relief notch at the proximal contact area that helps to avoid pressure on the tibial tuberosity and patellar tendon.
- The only skin contact occurs at the proximal portion of the tibia.
- It’s easy to disengage the brace when driving.
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