Have you ever hear the term, “solid ankle AFO” ?
Are curious as to what this means exactly?
Below is a picture of a solid ankle AFO :
1.) Making An AFO A “Solid” Ankle Design
Variations in color can exist. Padding variations can also exist. This does not change the name of the style of the AFO. However, the main thing that always stays the same with a solid ankle AFO is that the plastic at the ankle section remains the same. In other words, a solid ankle AFO is designed in such a way as to have the plastic surpass the apex of the ankles. Other styles of ankle foot orthoses all vary based on the amount of plastic that is either at the apex of the malleoli (ankle bones) or behind the ankles.
So, as a result, you can start to hear other names of AFOs such as “rigid, semi rigid, flexible” etc. All of this is based off of the amount of plastic that is incorporated at the ankle section of the AFO.
So now what?
2.) Solid Ankle Function
What does it matter if you get a solid ankle AFO versus another style?
The difference comes down to the amount of influence you will indirectly have on the knee. The more “solid” the ankle, the more support you are giving to the knee.
Why is this important?
Aren’t AFOs made to help people with foot drop?
Yes, AFOs (ankle foot orthoses) are made to help people with foot drop, but many of these very same patients might have weakness at the knee as well. This means that the patient’s knee might buckle forward, or hyperextend due to weakness. Much of the weakness is related to the quadriceps and hamstrings. If one is weak the other can potentially have an unbalanced effect on the leg.
As a result, the strong the support at the ankle, the more support a person can get at a “weak” knee with an AFO.
3.) Sulcus Trim Lines
When an AFO is made a “Solid” etc, it can potentially have different foot plates. Many times, Rinella Orthotics, Inc. will trim an AFO to the sulcus. This means that it is just shy of being a “full foot”. So, as a result, a person can roll over the front part of their foot when they walk more readily. This will help compensate for the fact that the ankle is controlled and provide for a more smooth gait.
If you live or work in Chicago or its suburbs, give us a call today if you need to obtain an AFO (ankle foot orthosis). The number to Rinella Orthotics, Inc. is 815-717-8970
We also have video testimonials of Bill and Kathy that discuss how their AFOs have helped them walk better. Check them out by clicking on the link here : http://rinella-op.com/video-testimonials