Inspiration for new inventions has many sources. Scott Rogoff, PT, DPT, ATC, with St Jude Medical Center in Fullerton, California, was prompted by personal experiences with rehabilitation. "I was a soccer player and had ankle injuries, but no one ever taught me ankle rehab," he says. As a result, Rogoff—now a board-certified clinical specialist in orthopaedic physical therapy and a certified strength and conditioning specialist—kept getting reinjured.
"A lot of details and precision are missed when the ankle is being strengthened," Rogoff says. He wondered what could be done to make the process more efficient. Most PTs use elastic bands or isometric machines for lower limb exercises. Those can create an imbalance by strengthening calf muscles at expense of the ankle. As a PT focusing on sports medicine and orthopedics, Rogoff saw the struggles of patients with ankle injuries. They often developed compensatory mechanisms. Traditional exercises did not adequately isolate the ankle.
Rogoff knew that a device that worked the muscles on the front side of the ankle—one that was fairly small, and appropriate to use in the clinic or at home—would benefit patients with ankle injuries, since the joint is only as strong as the surrounding muscles. Unlike what had happened to him, patients benefiting from such a device would be less at risk for reinjury.