Do you want to learn more about AFO leg braces?
Are you interested in finding a provider near you that specializes in making these walking aids?
Rinella Orthotics and Prosthetics specializes in making AFO braces. This is an acronym that stands for ankle foot orthosis. Orthosis being a professional term for “brace”. We are big believers in the use of these braces for people that have foot drop and who also have other balance related issues.
You may not have fallen yet due to a walking deficit, but the thought of it might be in the back of your mind. Many people drag their toe when they walk and this is because you may have weak muscles. These weakened or tired muscles are typically located on the front side of your leg below your knee. These are what we call dorsiflexors, or your Tibialis Anterior muscle. When you swing your legs through as part of your gate cycle you need muscle strength to lift your foot. Many people lift their foot unconsciously but for those who have something called a foot drop, lifting your foot during your gait cycle may become hard to do.
Another way the AFO braces are very useful is that they help to center your weight line and thus your balance. Sometimes people have a tendency to fall forward or backward or from side to side. This can all start at the ankle unfortunately and is something that results from postural sway. Custom AFO braces are very useful in the regard to improving balance. They can help you to avoid a fall by helping you to center your weight line during the gate cycle.
AFOs are typically custom made to someone limb and this is the best case scenario for people because it will be the most comfortable and supportive for you while walking. Their needs to be an intimate fit because your foot shape and size is very unique. The height of your leg and circumferences around your calf are also very unique and this is why we promote custom when it comes to bracing.
These are probably the two biggest areas in which an AFO can help you walk better. Of course we can get into more detail with you in person or on the phone if you have questions, but these are AFOs in a nutshell. If you have any future questions, or concerns about your gait, give us a call at 815-717-8970