About pilonzach

Im broken! but getting batter every day... somehow.

Exosym device

Well I finally completed something major. I went through the procedure and got myself the ExoSym device in Gig Harbor Washington at The Hanger Clinic. There are Hanger Clinic locations all around the country apparently but the only Clinic that is fabricating the ExoSym is the one located in Gig Harbor and I’ll have to say it’s a fantastic clinic in a fantastic town and it was worth the time and the expense without question to get fitted for this device.

Check out more on our Facebook page by going to Facebook and searching for the group called “Pilon fractures suck”

Below are some videos that I took in the clinic doing some Dynamic movement that I could not do without this amazing device. 7 days ago I could not jump or run and today I can do it pain free. No gimmicks just kick ass science.

Thanks Ryan Blanc and team!!

A very short mountain biking clip highlighting ankle immobilization with brace

Video

I live in Santa Cruz California and we have great trails through the redwood trees. I have been riding in these woods for over 10 years. Very excited to be back to being able to ride most, but not all, of the trails that I used to enjoy.

By immobilizing my ankle I am able to log a lot of miles here. If I did not immobilize my ankle, I could not bear the pain of these rides. Ive tried!

A whole day without my ankle brace

I have ventured out without my Arizona brace a few times lately for a half hour or so. Today I’ve spent almost a full day with nothing but my 1 inch heel lifts in my shoes, and I have been feeling great! -im kind of afraid to be so hopeful, … what if things were to stay this way?!  Im doubtful.. :-/   

I have mentioned this in other posts that the way my arthritis is,  it feels ok when I have my heels raised one or two inches in my shoes.  (I even bought a pair of women’s tall-heel flip flops for walking around the house in.)  I think this pain-frre walking has to do with the fact that I have a little bit of joint space and cartilage left at the rear of my ankle. 

Anyway I wanted to post something positive 🙂 there’s been too much bad news on this site lately!  🙂

Zach

Update on homemade brace 1.2

Update on the new homemade ankle brace (see previous post). I taped it on and went out for a long ride on my road bicycle… and felt fantastic.

 If I would have done this bike ride in my Arizona Brace I would have been very swollen and walking funny for a couple days. But with this ankle brace I was able to return home after 5 hours of riding without any significant swelling or pain.

I live that i have discovered that it is possible to do more than what the experts think can be done with pain management through joint stabilization and working around the limitations of this injury. At least for me that’s the case. But nobody thought up making my own ankle braces… I just figured that if a ski boot would feel rigid enough to walk while immobilizing the ankle,  then why not make my shoe act like a ski boot!?

Exo Sym brace update

I mentioned in a past post that I was applying for the exosym brace. 

To get this brace I had to go see a surgeon and get a very specific prescription and letter written which we submitted to The Hanger Clinic in Gig Harbor Washington who then submitted it to my insurance company could then denied covering it. So now I have to appeal. The device costs $9,000 out of pocket. If you search YouTube you will find that this device looks very very promising for all of us who don’t want to get ankle Fusion but want to get back to a normal active lifestyle.

If my insurance company ultimately denies this I will pay for it out of pocket but it will take me some time to save up.

Does anybody out there have this brace yet?

Take care of you all and keep hopping on that Good Foot 🙂

This was all dictated on voice to text so pardon my typos and for some strange reason Google started capitalizing all kinds of random words lately 🙂

Fiberglass brace 2.0!

I have had pretty good success with the first fiberglass brace I made which I use for bicycling because it locks out my ankle much better than my Arizona brace. But I needed something that was more comfortable and didn’t put so much leverage on my shin bone… so I have been working a long time on getting around to finishing the second brace. 

Today I finally gave it a test run and I think it worked pretty good. It goes much higher up my calf, which reduces the leverage on my lower leg, and completely immobilizes my ankle! I went for a hard and bumpy mountain bike ride today and was completely pain-free!

Immobilization of the joint= more capabilities, like long bike rides in the woods

This image of a recent bike ride below is not me bragging… this is testament to what a strong ankle brace has done for me. Immobilizing the ankle completely makes for a better day.

This ride would be impossible without my brace. The brace is like a 1000% improvement over going without a brace.

While I made my brace at home (after reading up on the subject and youtubing how boats and syrfboards and car parts are made from fiberglass and carbon fiber) and I know not everyone can do this at home, but by asking around, i belive most folks can find someone who knows how to cast the lower leg and make a very rigid shell out of fiberglass in epoxy resin. If you do try this, I really recommend wrapping it to the leg with “cohesive bandages”. Its a stretchy tape that sticks to itself but is not sticky. Dont wrap it too tight…it gets uncomfortable. Contact me for finer details.

This Brace does not help a whole lot for the bicycle, its wonderful to walk in. I can’t walk without it. I had to make something like this but much stiffer to ride bikes in.


A mountain bike ride that I can only do because of my homemade ankle brace. This gives me my freedom back and a stokes lot of hope.

A mountain bike ride that I can only do because of my homemade ankle brace. This gives me my freedom back and a stokes lot of hope.

What to do with an arthritic ankle…

I’ve been reading, and doing some research on what bright features lay head for me and my left ankle. 

I found a nice article which I put a link to below. It Talks about some of the upsides of ankle fusion and how normal life can be after,  so I encourage anybody with the fear of thier arthritis to read and find some hope in the fact that a fused ankle can be still very functional foot.  🙂 

http://www.healio.com/orthopedics/arthritis/news/print/orthopedics-today/%7Baff49ca8-7902-4f10-83b2-f0121c496af3%7D/experts-discuss-what-to-expect-after-ankle-surgery