Rinella Orthotics, Inc. has the ability to provide patients with a carbon graphite AFO. 815-717-8970
So, why make a brace out of carbon graphite, versus some other sort of material?
Carbon graphite AFOs are mainly used for people that want the lightest weight AFO they can find. It is a firm material that will be able to help lift the foot up as a person walks. Carbon graphite AFOs are slightly thinner and a little less heavy (if you want to use the word heavy) than a traditional AFO. (Now, mind you, that a traditional AFO is not that heavy in the first place).
So, in what situations would a carbon graphite AFO be better than a plastic AFO?
Many times people come to us because they have foot drop. The same person might also have one of two issues :
1.) The AFO needs to fit in a pair of shoes that does not have a lot of extra space. – For example, dress shoes are sometimes not as spacious as a pair of running shoes. You already know this, of course… The point is though, that you have to wear an AFO inside of a shoe when your foot is on the ground. Why? – Because the AFO does not have tread on it, if that makes sense. So, since the carbon graphite AFO is extremely thin, you will have more of an opportunity to fit it into more of your s hoes. Even, the dress shoes that you own. Remember, that each case of fitting it into shoes is different from the next…
2.) The weight of the brace. Truth be told, traditional AFOs are very light weight. We are talking about a piece of plastic that is less than 1/2 thick, which is going on a portion of your lower extremity that has large muscle groups involved. Yes, you are wearing the AFO because a drop foot has set in, but all we are saying is that a traditional AFO is not that heavy. We have been fitting them to people for years and rarely do people complain about the weight.
So, having said that, some people do still want a lighter weight brace. So, when this becomes a deciding factor for an individual, a carbon graphite AFO is seriously considered. It is the lightest and most supportive material that we have seen. However, it is typically used for a flexible design only. (You will be able to learn more about design choices if you read our other parts of this blog.)
So, in the end, carbon graphite AFOs have two potential benefits over other AFOs. They are thinner and more light weight. For the right individual, this could mean a lot.