Every year, over a million people visit the emergency room for ankle injuries. Of these ankle injuries, sprains are the most common . In 2007, about 1.7 million people ages 15-64 in the U.S suffered from acute to severe ankle sprains, which is often due to weakening of the tendons from extreme athletic activity . Once an individual suffers an ankle sprain an estimated 30% will develop chronic ankle instability . Currently, there are many variations of ankle braces and exercise tools that are used. For exercises, there are stepping tools, resistance bands, and balance boards that aid in strengthening the ankle and the surrounding muscles. These exercises are usually done in the presence of a physical therapist in order to ensure that the exercise is done correctly. However, there are issues with cost, lack of objective data, and the number of degrees of freedom that support the need for a new exercise device.
What is JANE?
JANE is an exercise device consisting of a rotating base for inversion and eversion exercises, with a brake system to apply various levels of resistance with complete 360 degree rotation, encompassing the range of motion for the inversion (inside turn motion) of 30 degrees and eversion (outside turn motion) of 20 degrees .The user secures their foot to the rotating plate and can complete the inward and outward motion of the exercise while applying constant resistance independent of the direction of rotation. The prototype currently has three set levels of resistance and has degree markings around the entire device, lining the rotating plate. An arrow at the tip of the rotating plate easily indicates the angle of motion that the ankle rotates.
JANE was developed to tackle the issues of potential re-injury, to give consistent resistance for both positive and negative motion, as well as to be a useful device when the exercises are performed alone at home. We created JANE with the hope that she would support rehabilitation of the ankle to regain mobility.