Practice Manager Viv Taylor turned to Isobar Compression to reduce her ankle swelling after being in plaster for a fractured ankle. Here she explains how she wore Isobar Compression socks under her Aircast boot to allow earlier rehabilitation.
I leapt out of bed one evening to help my husband, who was unwell. My blood pressure must have been low as I fainted, collapsing to the floor and hurting my ankle. I was in a great deal of pain and went to A&E, where I was diagnosed with a fractured tibia and fibula; vertical fractures going down into the heel. The Consultant told me it was an unusual fracture and wanted to pin it, although he thought it was 50/50 whether surgery would improve the outcome. I’d had some health problems earlier in the year requiring surgery, so didn’t want further surgery if it wasn’t absolutely necessary.
I work as a Practice Manager and have worked in healthcare for a long time, so I have reasonable understanding of care. I asked for an Aircast boot, rather than a cast, but was advised that with the type of fracture I’d sustained it would need to be in plaster for at least five weeks.
I work for Professor Charles McCollum (Vascular Surgeon) who was part of the team that created Isobar’s bespoke compression socks. He recommended I should have my leg scanned for a compression sock to fit the left leg, for DVT prophylaxis while I was immobilised with the fractured right ankle. Isobar came to my house to perform the scan, which was an excellent service as I was having difficulty getting out of the house.
Five weeks later, when the plaster cast was removed, my right ankle hadn’t healed quite as well as the doctors had hoped; but they did now agree to me having an Aircast boot. I asked if I could put a compression sock on under the boot to improve both the swelling and the venous return. The hospital team weren’t happy to agree this as they weren’t aware of the technology (I have since shared the research with them) so, having spoken to Professor McCollum, I put the sock on myself when I got home.
I have some experience of compression stockings as I used to be a midwife and have often struggled to assist women into the traditional TED stockings. The Isobar stockings are so much easier! They aren’t restrictive like traditional compression stockings.
In the first ten days of wearing the Isobar sock on my injured right ankle the circulation and swelling improved considerably. It was very comfortable to wear under the boot. The enormous advantage was that I could remove the boot to perform my physiotherapy exercises, improving the movement in the ankle joint considerably.
I will be wearing the Isobar socks for a while, until my ankle is back to normal. The black colour of the sock is perfect and they are not nearly as irritating as other compression socks. I have considerable experience with TED stockings and, although the Isobar socks are much more expensive, I think they are superior and would recommend them to other ankle fracture sufferers.
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