Ankle sprain bracing solutions and future design consideration for civilian and military use

Yingjun Zhao Dubuc, Brittney Mazzone, Adam J. Yoder, Elizabeth Russell Esposito, Tae Hoon Kang, Kenneth J. Loh*, Shawn Farrokhi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Ankle sprains are common injuries within the civilian and military populations, with lingering symptoms that include pain, swelling, giving-way, and a high likelihood for recurrence. Numerous bracing systems are available to stabilize the ankle joint following sprains, with new design iterations frequently entering the market. Currently available braces generally include sleeve, lace-up, and stirrup designs. Sleeves provide mild compression and warmth but limited stability for the ankle, while lace-ups and stirrups appear to be more effective at preventing and treating lateral ankle sprains. Areas covered: This review summarizes the use of various brace options in practice. Their major clinical benefits, and limitations are highlighted, followed by an overview of emerging concepts in brace design. Current advancements in biomechanical simulation, multifunctional material fabrication, and wearable, field-deployed devices for human injury surveillance are discussed, providing possibilities for conceiving new design concepts for next-generation smart ankle braces. Expert opinion: Performance of the commercially available braces are limited by their current design concepts. Suggestions on future brace design include: (1) incorporating high-performance materials suitable for extreme environments, (2) leveraging modeling and simulation techniques to predict mechanical support requirements, and (3) implementing adaptive, customizable componentry material to meet the needs of each unique patient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-122
Number of pages10
JournalExpert Review of Medical Devices
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Ankle brace
  • ankle brace design
  • ankle sprain
  • chronic ankle instability (CAI)
  • human-performance monitoring
  • musculoskeletal modeling


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