2011 has been a productive year at Hoosier Foot and Ankle. One of the nicest developments began when I suffered an injury that resulted in equines. Wearing the typical night brace was not an experience I want to repeat. It was very uncomfortable, as some of you can sympathize with, and interrupted my sleep.
That discomfort led to research on equinus treatment and several questions. Is it necessary to wear the stretching braces at night and to wear them all night? Is there no way to make a brace more compatible with the patient’s body.
As a result of the research, I designed and invented a brace that treats equinus in an intelligent manner. We even named it the EQ/IQ brace.
To answer one of those questions, the EQ/IQ brace, intelligent management for equinus, does not need to be slept in. I recommend using it 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening with 15 minutes spent stretching the Gastroc-Soleus complex and 15 minutes spent stretching the Soleus.
As we look at features of the EQ/IQ brace from proximal to distal —
Yes, the EQ/IQ brace can be personalized for the patient’s needs. There is an above-the-knee extension with a hinge at the knee. The extension allows the knee to be locked into extension to stretch the Glastrocnemius muscle. The hinge can be released to allow for ease of application and isolated stretching of the Soleus. There is also a hinge at the ankle joint which allows the treating physician to set exactly the amount of dorsiflexion desired based on the patient’s biomechanical exam. I estimate 5 degrees the first month increasing to 10 degrees the second month, then if needed, 15 degrees the third month. The hinge goes from -30 degrees to +30 degrees, in 5 degree increments.
More about the EQ/IQ
I designed the EQ/IQ brace to be ambulatory with a negative heel rocker sole, which allows ambulation with a fixed dorsiflexed position.
The rocker soles can be removed. Three different sizes (5, 10, and 15 degrees) are included with the brace to match the amount of ankle joint dorsiflexion.
There is an adjustable wedge that goes under the hallux to engage the Windlass Mechanism. These wedges come in 35, 50, and 65 degree sizes and Velcro to the foot bed.
I designed varying degrees for the wedges to allow for patients with hallux limitus or rigidus.
The femoral and tibial uprights are adjustable for leg and should be set by the physician
Foot Bed Sizes:
The standard foot beds will fit a small/medium size. However, the foot bed can be replaced by an extended version that will fit a large/extra large size.
Using the EQ/IQ Brace:
I am recommending time periods for wearing the EQ/IQ based upon recommendations for manual stretching, but doubled. Most manual stretching recommendations have the stretches done about 30 minutes per day. I think an hour a day is reasonable from a compliance stand point compared to 6-8 hours at night while disturbing the patient’s sleep.
The ambulatory component of the brace is an important factor. Patients can wear the brace during ther preparations for the day – after dressing the brace is working while they perform typical morning rituals. A similar scenario would play out for the evening stretching.
How to Get the EQ/IQ Brace:
The EQ/IQ brace is being prepared for production in the next few weeks. Treating professionals such as podiatrists, orthopedic surgeons, chiropractors, physical therapists, athletic trainers may pre-order the brace at an introductory discount of $170.00 per brace plus free shipping. Later the price will increase to $200.00 per brace.
To pre-order or get additional information, contact me at 317-660-2115 or you may use the contact/comment form at the Hoosier Foot and Ankle website, available 24/7 for your convenience.