AFO Drop Foot Braces
AFO stands for Ankle Foot Orthosis. These types of orthotic devices come in various configurations, materials and sizes to fit most individuals, both adult and child.
There have been many changes in these devices over the years, primarily with the introduction of carbon fiber. Many off the shelf AFO’s are made of thermoplastic material which are static in nature. They are designed to maintain the foot and ankle at a 90 degree angle and prevent the foot from dropping down.
The thermoplastic ankle foot orthosis are relatively inexpensive and perform as they were intended to. Carbon fiber on the other hand are referred to as dynamic AFO’s. They have the functional capacity to retain energy. This allows the patient who wears the device more motion during gait as there is a “spring like” effect when the patient walks forward, allowing a more natural gait.
The carbon fiber material is similar to what is currently used on many knee prosthetics for amputees. It is durable, lightweight and responds to forces placed on it. This makes an excellent material to use for patients already suffering from weakness in the leg/ankle and foot due to neurological or musculoskeletal diseases and disorders.
Another problem exhibited by patients with foot drop is contractures of the leg muscles which cause further disruption of gait and difficulty ambulating due to plantarflexion of the foot.
Many patients with drop foot also benefit from night splints or podus boots that maintain the leg/ankle and foot at 90 degrees during sleep.
The The Brace Shopoffers one of the largest selections of AFO Drop Foot Braces from some of the leading manufacturers in the world. It is recommended that you consult with your treating physician, therapy or healthcare professional before purchasing an AFO, especially a carbon fiber AFO. The devices often need adjustments, molding and filing down to fit into orthopedic shoes and adjust for muscle atrophy and boney protrusions. Please contact us if you have any questions concerning AFO Drop Foot Braces.