Athletic Trainer Designs Unique Brace

October 2, 2017

The TayCo External Ankle Brace, a new device designed by Mike Bean, Associate Athletic Trainer for the University of Notre Dame, presents a new possibility for athletes—an ankle brace that fits outside the wearer's shoe. According to, Bean came up with the idea in response to football coaches and players complaining about not being able to get back in the game after spraining their ankles. Bean's partner, Dr. Fred Ferlic, an orthopedic surgeon, said:

“He got tired of [coaches] yelling at him, why couldn't he get players back in the game in the first quarter when they sprained their ankles.”

Ferlic adds that the device has uses outside of football.

“There are many more uses for this than just a football field,” Ferlic said. “This is going to help millions of people. It's not only going to help people with acute conditions like a sprain or a break or a fracture, but it's going to also help thousands of people with MS, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's.”

Ferlic cites Jacque Holik, a resident of South Bend, as one example of how the device can help a patient maintain balance. Holik recovered from pancreatic cancer, but the lingering effects of chemotherapy weakened her knees, leaving her unable to walk without falling and injuring herself, until her physical therapist, Rob Amico, recommended Ferlic's services.

Holik said the TayCo External Ankle Brace helped her regain her mobility and independence.

“I couldn't believe it,” Holik said. “I couldn't believe how well I could walk. A big difference, it gave me my life back. It really did. I go everywhere. In fact, in November I am going to California!”

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