Patient Testimonials

Mckayla Paulson

Lateral Ankle Ligament Reconstruction: Internal Brace Augmentation

Case Study: McKayla Paulson, NCAA Division I athlete

Surgeon: Eugene Curry, M.D., The Carrell clinic, Dallas, Texas

Mckayla Paulson Mckayla PaulsonMckayla Paulson

  • NCAA Division I student athlete
  • Defender, Sr. Captain women’s soccer team
  • Started and played in 20 games/1723 minutes in 2014

Mckayla Paulson

Chronic ankle instability after 2014 injury, resulting in 7 missed games

Unable to return to previous level of play

  • Played only 6 games / 540 minutes in 2015
  • In 2016, played 1726 minutes with pain and instability

Mckayla Paulson

Exam of the right ankle shows 2+ instability

Lateral ankle ligament reconstruction (Brostrom with Internal Brace augmentation) is performed on December 2, 2016

  • Walking boot applied intraoperatively
    • May be removed for dorsiflexion/plantarflexion range of motion
  • Immediate weight bearing as tolerated
  • Sutures are removed at 2 weeks postop
    • Transition to a lace-up brace
    • Begin physical therapy

Mckayla Paulson

Physical therapy protocol

  • Weeks 1-2 :
    • WBAT, dorsiflexion / plantarflexion exercises, hip, knee ROM, core strength
  • Weeks 3-6:
    • Lace-up brace, continue to elevate as needed for swelling
    • Stationary bike, begin inversion/eversion, continue to work on hip, knee, core exercises
  • Weeks 7-10:
    • Continue to use ankle brace in a regular shoe
    • Stationary bike, ROM as tolerated with inversion/eversion/DF/PF
    • Continue with core, hip and knee strengthening exercises

Mckayla Paulson

  • Weeks 11-12 :
    • Regular shoe, brace, continue strengthening exercises, work on proprioception, gait training, muscle stimulation as needed
  • Weeks 13-16:
    • Brace, regular shoe
    • Continue with proprioception exercises, begin lunges, squats, toe raises
    • Begin jumping, running as tolerated
  • Week 17 and beyond:
    • Activity-specific training
    • Return to full play
    • Continue to wear brace as needed

Mckayla Paulson

4 months after surgery she returned to play starting against Houston Dash professional women's soccer team on April 7, 2017 (unfortunately, the Aggies ran out of time…)

McKayla played in all 5 Spring season games

At 5 months post-op her ankle feels stable and she is pain-free

Mckayla Paulson

In patient’s own words:

  • “Before the surgery was done, I could not play without heavy taping, which restricted my speed, agility, being able to kick the ball in any direction and move quickly”
  • “Another surgeon’s plan did not have Internal Brace as an option, involved a period of initial casting instead of bracing and possibly a bigger incision or two incisions”
  • “ After returning to training, I feel like I have a new ankle”
  • “I feel confident to play on it”
  • “Speed and strength are good”
  • “I am able to accomplish any movements without tape, have full speed and full mobility”

Mckayla PaulsonMckayla Paulson

The Internal Brace Difference

  • Immediate weightbearing
  • Early mobilization ( days vs weeks )
  • Early rehabilitation
  • Less muscle atrophy
  • Earlier return to full activity
  • Improved stability
  • Lower recurrence/reoperation rate

Mckayla Paulson

By - Mckayla Paulson