A number of Israelis have been taking advantage of the latest foot and knee brace technology to help reduce the risk of injuries.
According to the Israeli Association of Pediatricians, which represents pediatricians, there have been more than 30,000 consultations with parents, with almost 50 percent of them reporting that their children were better able to walk on their own.
The brace is made up of an elastic strap that has two layers of padding that provide the necessary support for the child.
When it comes to its function, the brace is a device that is typically worn on a child’s knee or ankle, or on the back of the foot.
According to the Association of Pediatrics, a study of 4,000 children from ages 5 to 14, the parents who were able to use the brace on their children did so by far the best.
“They reported that the brace was the best for children with osteoarthritis and children with foot and ankle problems,” said the association’s head of pediatric orthopedics, Dr. Yossi Klein.
In the study, conducted by researchers at the Golan Heights Pediatric Research Center and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the use of the braces was found to be the most effective way to improve foot and/or knee joint function.
The researchers also found that the braces were more effective than traditional orthopedic care in treating a number of other ailments, including arthritis and joint pain.
While the use and effectiveness of the brace has been well-known in the field of orthopedology for years, the Association has been working on the development of an affordable version of the technology that is more durable, and more user-friendly.
“In order to improve the functionality of the orthopedist’s instruments, we wanted to make sure that it was also possible for parents to take advantage of these products,” said Klein.
The Association of Parents of Pedagogical Trauma in Israel recently published a survey of the parents of children with traumatic foot injuries, which revealed that nearly half of the respondents had used a foot brace in the past year.
“The brace’s functionality is very good, but it does not provide a complete solution,” said one of the study’s participants, Avi, a pediatrician and director of the department of pediatrics at Beitar Illit.
“If you can’t walk, it’s a bad solution, but if you can walk, then it’s better.”
Klein explained that the problem with a foot or ankle brace is that it does nothing more than cushion the bones, and does not address the cause of the injury.
“In order for it to be a good option, the knee must be properly aligned, and the ankle must be supported,” he said.
While there are no regulations requiring that brace manufacturers provide the parents with an online review, the organization recommends that parents consult their pediatrician for any problems they may have.
“When parents consult with us, we always give them a simple and easy-to-follow questionnaire,” said Kobi Katz, president of the Association.
In addition to its benefits for the health of the child, Klein said that a foot and orthopedically oriented brace has a number other benefits, including helping parents understand how to use them, and giving them the tools to make them more comfortable.
“I think this is a great opportunity to give parents the best possible experience and to give them some insight into the product that they’re getting,” he added.