What is an Aircast&Trade; Ankle Brace?

Donn Saylor

An Aircast™ Ankle Brace is a specially designed cast for a sprained ankle that utilizes air pressure instead of traditional plaster to facilitate support and healing. Designed and manufactured by the DonJoy Company, also known as DJO Incorporated, this type of ankle treatment uses a patented system of air support that produces gradual levels of compression during movement. Aircast™ Ankle Braces have become a standard treatment modality for those undergoing sprained ankle rehabilitation or for those requiring extra support with mobility. There are several different types of braces that fall under the category of "Aircast™ Ankle Brace."

A man with a sprained ankle, which is often treated with an Aircast™ ankle brace.
A man with a sprained ankle, which is often treated with an Aircast™ ankle brace.

One of the most popular Aircast™ Ankle Brace products is the Air-Stirrup® Ankle Brace. It employs the manufacturer's exclusive Duplex™ Aircell System. With this unique technology, two small pillows of air — called aircells — are pre-inflated and overlap one another, offering a high level of support to both the internal and external sides of the ankle. The aircells provide an increasing amount of compression as the user exerts more pressure on the afflicted limb. While speeding up the healing process, the Air-Stirrup® also helps to lessen the risk of edema — swelling due to a buildup of fluid — in the ankle and foot.

Aircast ankle braces have become a standard treatment option for individuals undergoing sprained ankle rehabilitation.
Aircast ankle braces have become a standard treatment option for individuals undergoing sprained ankle rehabilitation.

The AirSport™ Ankle Brace is another type of Aircast™ Ankle Brace designed for the patient who is an exercise enthusiast or constantly on the go. With a firmer shell than the Air-Stirrup® model, it provides added levels of compression and alleviation. It also boasts a specially made cross strap and shin and forefoot bindings, as well as an automatic adjustment feature that fits to the size of the heel, all of which further facilitate the stable support of the entire foot.

For the serious athlete, the A60™ Ankle Support integrates a solid stabilization tool on both sides of the Aircast™ Ankle Brace. The unique angle of the stabilizers adds another layer of protection against ankle problems and associated ankle pain. The A60™ Ankle Support is easy to slip into, contains just one strap, and is made of a durable, breathable fabric.

Other styles of Aircast™ Ankle Braces are also available. These include the Dorsal Night Splint for those dealing with Plantar Fasciitis, or swelling of the tissue on the bottom of the foot. The Air-Stirrup® Universe is made for general treatment of sprained ankles. For a lightweight alternative, there is the Air-Stirrup® Light, which is less bulky and made from a combination of aircell technology and foam.

Aircast™ Ankle Braces are sold in a variety of sizes. The Air-Stirrup® Ankle Brace is sold in small, medium, large, and pediatric sizes, while the AirSport™ Ankle Brace is available in these same dimensions, plus extra large and extra small. The A60™ Ankle Support comes in small, medium, and large, with left foot and right foot models.

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Discussion Comments


@ysmina-- I should warn you that if you wear this brace often and during activity, it's not going to last you long. I don't think that the manufacturers intended users to be very active when using this. When used regularly during activity, it starts falling apart quickly. It's not durable enough for that. This brace is what you want to wear when you're resting and healing at home.


@ysmina-- Yes, it does. I wear my Aircast ankle brace sometimes while hiking. It's not very bulky so it should fit fine when you loosen up the exercise shoes a little bit. It might fit into boots as well but it won't fit into other types of shoes.

I started wearing the Aircast ankle brace after an ankle stress fracture to encourage healing. After my ankle got better, I continued to wear it on some occasions when I felt like my ankle needed some additional support. I think it's a good idea to use it this way to prevent injury. I wouldn't be able to wear it every day but it does the job when needed.


Does the Aircast brace fit into a shoe?

I have a weak right ankle that easily sprains during exercise. So I'm looking for a brace that I can wear during activity to protect my ankle. So the brace needs to fit into my sports shoes.

Can I do that with this brace? Has anyone here used it this way?

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