Are you looking for an AFO leg brace?
Is this your first time looking into one or do you have an older one that is now worn down?
You can think of an AFO as almost a handless walking cane. We are not saying to necessarily substitute you’re walking cane immediately for an AFO but if there was a device that would help you walk better again without the use of something in your hands to sturdy your balance it would be a custom AFO.
These devices can help stop a fall from happening. Falls happen for numerous reasons and we will cover them here…
For example, if a person has something known as a “drop foot”, they struggle to lift their foot as they swing their leg through in the gate cycle. This alone is a reason to get an AFO and this alone can be the reason why someone suffers from a fall.
Most of the time you may feel as if you can catch yourself if you began to fall, but perhaps, after one or two falls you may begin to feel differently.
An AFO can help with your foot drop when you swing your leg through and this alone can be the difference maker for you when you walk. These special leg braces are also very concealable and you do not have to be advertising them as you might a cane or a walker when you walk.
Another reason why people can benefit from an AFO is because they may have knee weakness. You may find that your knee will buckle forward from time to time, especially so at the end of the day or when you were tired. This is because of potential weakness in your quad muscles. You may also find that your knee snaps back. This is called knee hyperextension. This is because your quad strength is overpowering compared to that of your hamstring strength.
If either of these two situations happens it’s because of the muscles that surround the knee are struggling to help keep it stable. An AFO will help to support your knee indirectly. It does this because it helps to support the ankle, which is connected to knee movement . How you maybe wondering why your knee is affected if your ankle is supported.
Think of it like this, if you’re holding a baby tree at the base of the trunk, and you don’t want the top part of the tree to be blown over, you can have a lot of influence holding the bottom of the tree. You can not totally control the top portion of the tree by holding the base intact, but you can definitely help the tree from blowing over…
We relate that to you, as a person, because holding on strongly at your ankle we can have a positive influence on what the knee will do. If you are not wanting to let the tree top or your knee for example buckle go forward or snap back then holding on at the base of your leg (your ankle) can have a great influence on your outcome. – It is most effective to help support the knee by crossing the knee joint with a KAFO leg brace, but this is a whole different situation that we will talk about in KAFO blog posts.
To continue the discussion give us a call at 815-717-8970