Gear, Human-Material Interaction

The ankle sprain injury is a worldwide problem that affects millions annually, and although the use of braces and tape reduces the accident risk during sports, athletes often reject them as a preventive measure due to discomfort and inflexibility. A sprain involves stretching or tearing a ligament, in most cases on the outer side of the foot. In the worst case scenario a sprain leads to a complete rupture of the ligament or even a fracture of the ankle bones. An ankle sprain is not only very painful but also decreases freedom of movement. Moreover, the chance of a repeated injury is very high once the ligaments have been torn.

The EXO-L Ligament was invented  to solve the problem of spraining. A solution was found through a fake ligament that refrains the ankle from spraining. The external ankle ligament acts as a safety belt that protects you at the moment you are about to sprain your ankle. It does not affect your freedom of movement, thereby allowing you to exercise longer and reach your highest potential. It is comprised of a construction that is positioned around the users ankle and subsequently connected to an attachment feature on the shoe. An ankle sprain injury occurs when high impact forces make the foot rotate beyond its normal range of motion. The EXO-L Ligament prevents this ankle sprain.

The challenge to effectively transfer a force from the foot to the lower leg was solved with the development of a 3D-printed half open clip that allows to exert pressure onto the malleoli without the need for strapping something tightly around the ankle. The final result of the development process was the achievement of a technical proof of principal accompanied by a patent application describing the innovative principle of motion restriction. A range of prototypes were successfully tested by athletes. The product was launched in April 2014 and sold successfully throughout the Netherlands.

For more info visit: www.exo-l.com

You can test the EXO-L Ankle Ligament yourself! See www.verzwiknooit.nl/testzelf/ and make a free appointment to get to know the working principle of the external ankle ligament.


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