Leicester

Ankle injuries device tested in Leicester

Staff at Leicester Royal Infirmary are trying out a new inflatable boot to help patients with ankle injuries.

The Vacoped holds the foot in a ballet-style pointed position and costs less than half as much as a traditional plaster cast.

It can be reused and so far it has helped more than 20 patients.

Carl Markillie, the orthopaedic technician who suggested the design be introduced, said it helped him recover more quickly from tendonitis.

He said: "I never expected, when I introduced it in January, for me to be actually wearing it.

"It's helped me get back to work. I had my treatment on the Tuesday and I was back to work, fully weight-bearing, by the Wednesday. I've been able to continue my duties here.

"From a pain relief point of view, because I've been weight-bearing, I've not had to use painkillers because I've been able to walk and improve the condition much more quickly."

Once the device is fitted, air is pumped from the lining to make it fit snugly to remain in place for about four weeks.

Traditional treatment involves wearing a plaster cast for four to six weeks.

Some 20 other patients have so far tried the boot.

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