Keepin' It Local: Meridian man's invention prevents ankle injuries
The Ankle Roll Guard was featured on KTVB's "Keepin' It Local" TV show! We filmed it at Boise State University's Center for Orthopaedic & Biomechanics Research lab where we completed the independent testing white paper.
You may have seen gruesome video of ankle rolls and breaks that happen all too frequently to basketball players and other athletes. Just do a search on YouTube and you'll see many examples that will make you wince.
Ten years ago Chris Dean watched an NBA player suffer a bad ankle roll, and he could relate, having suffered many himself. That's when he got an idea.
"I saw NBA players rolling their ankle, I keep rolling mine, I thought, 'I'm going come up with something to stop this.'"
And he did. He developed several prototypes of an ankle roll guard, and when he thought he had something that worked he spent four years getting his product patented.
Common sense and trying it out with friends told Chris his ankle roll guard, or ARG, works, but that wasn't good enough. Chris needed proof.
Thanks to an Idaho IGEM grant and subsequent testing at the Boise State Center for Orthopaedic and Biomechanics Research, he has hard data to show the ankle guard not only prevents ankle injuries as well as taping or braces, but it has the added benefit of not inhibiting performance.
Graduate Assistant Wyatt Ihmels conducted thousands of tests on the ARG. He says the research he conducted is encouraging,
"ARG is going to give you greater range of motion at the ankle compared to a brace or tape condition, but it's just as good at preventing inversion as the other forms of bracing," Ihmels said. "So the fact that it's allowing injury prevention as well as not limiting your mobility or performance is actually a really good thing."
For Chris the research is invaluable - especially since his product has recently found a new market.
"It started out as an athletic prevention device, but it's grown into more of a medical area - senior care for fall prevention, balance, stability," he said. "I've got customers with MS and Parkinson's, stroke patients, all people that require everyday balance and support as they're walking."
The ARG has been on the market for three years, but with this new research, Chris thinks his product is poised to change even more lives.
"It started out as preventing ankle rolls in basketball and now it's grown more into a medical device that's really helping people," he said.
Click here to view the TV news segment online
Click here to purchase an Ankle Roll Guard on Amazon.com