AFOs

November 17, 2014
AFO Solutions
  • Ankle-foot orthoses are the most commonly used orthoses, making up about 26% of all orthoses provided in the United States
  • The same level of stabilization provided by a cast-boot can be accomplished by an AFO with better function and patient compliance

In step with all your AFO needs

An ankle-foot orthosis, or AFO, is a support intended to control the position and motion of the ankle, compensate for weakness, or correct deformities. AFOs can be used to support weak limbs, or to position a limb with contracted muscles into a more normal position. In addition, AFOs are used to control foot drop caused by a variety of neurologic and musculoskeletal disorders. Due to the common use for addressing foot drop, AFO has become synonymous with the term “foot-drop brace”.

The goal of AFO use is to stabilize the foot and ankle and provide toe clearance during the swing phase of gait. This helps decrease the risk of catching the toe and falling.

A typical AFO creates an L-shaped frame around the foot and ankle, extending from just below the knee to the metatarsal heads of the foot. AFO’s can be purchased off the shelf or can be custom molded to an individual wearer, and can be fabricated of a variety of materials, including heat-moldable plastics, metal, leather and carbon composite. AFOs are the most commonly used orthoses, making up about 26% of all orthoses provided in the United States. Different types of AFOs meet specific needs including:

Carbon Fiber AFOs

  • Dynamic semi-flexible footplate
  • Promotes natural gait pattern
  • Enhances strength and stability to control torsion forces

Lightweight, modern, low-profile design provides added strength and stability, while avoiding contact at critical pressure points and facilitating a normal walking pattern. Ideal for active clients.

Footplates have 10-15° of forefoot lift beginning around the metatarsal heads, yet still accommodate a foot orthotic. Open heel design helps eliminate pressure sores. Flexible calf and tibial bands accommodate a wide range of calf circumferences. Lateral strut is ideal for patients with medial ankle instability, that evert, pronate, or have valgus. Medial support strut is ideal for patients with lateral ankle instability, that invert, supinate, or have varus.

Swedish AFOs

  • Lower profile than traditional plastic AFO
  • Enhanced airflow for cool comfort
  • Heat-moldable and trimmable for customized fit

Deliver moderate lateral stability and static dorsiflexion assistance in a streamlined design for an easy, comfortable fit. Open calf and heel offers cool comfort and better shoe fit than a traditional plastic AFO. Trimmable footplate helps fit to any shoe. Ideal for a moderately active user.

Traditional Plastic AFOs

  • Accommodate a wide variety of needs
  • Options for maximum-to-minimum medial/lateral stability
  • Heat-moldable for customized fit
  • Reliable, economical options to meet a variety of needs. Can be applied in seconds, and easily modified by heat-molding or trimming for optimal customization. An ideal solution for short-term use.

Sources:

  1. Whiteside, S., et al. Practice analysis of certified practitioners in the disciplines of orthotics and prosthetics. 2007, American Board for Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics, Inc., Alexandria, Virginia.
  2. Lin RS. Ankle-foot orthoses. In: Lusardi MM, Nielson CC, eds. Orthotics and Prosthetics in Rehabilitation. Boston: Butterworth Heinemann; 2000
  3. Podiatry Today 2007.

FREEDOM Adjustable Footdrop Brace

FREEDOM Adjustable Footdrop Brace

FREEDOM Adjustable Footdrop Brace. Compact, attaches onto shoelaces and clips to an ankle cuff. Can be moved from shoe to shoe quickly and easily. Ideal for individuals with mild to moderate footdrop.

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Intellinetix Step Sensor

Intellinetix Step Sensor

Intellinetix Step Sensor encourages wearer to lift foot in preparation for swing phase. Uses vibration cells to provide reminder to lift foot while walking. Lightweight, comfortable, discreet—fits in any shoe. Ideal for users with gait abnormalities associated with footdrop.

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EZ Dorsi Assist AFO

EZ Dorsi Assist AFO

EZ Dorsi Assist AFO is ideal for diabetic foot and other insensitive foot maladies. Dynamic carbon fiber construction is lightweight but strong. Adjustable height and flexible calf band eliminate all fitting issues. Installs in less than 30 minutes, all hardware included.

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FREEDOM Soft Footdrop Braces

FREEDOM Soft Footdrop Braces

FREEDOM Soft Footdrop Braces can be worn barefoot, with sandals or slippers. Flexible solution for when regular footdrop braces cannot be worn. Semirigid plantar footplate maintains arch. Ideal for hypermobile ankle or post-polio afflictions.

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Step-Smart Brace

Step-Smart Brace

Step-Smart Brace. Dorsiflexion-assist Jacob Joint. Pushes the foot into dorsiflexion during swing phase. Asborbs shock and decelerated plantar flexion during heel strike. Clinician can adjust shock absorption level.

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Pediatric AFO

Pediatric AFO

Pediatric AFO for younger patients. Allows immediate fitting for early ambulation. Stabilizes ankle with polypropylene for medial/lateral support. Helps resist spastic tone.

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