Does your foot drag at all when you walk?
Do you ever worry that you will fall when you walk?
You might not always worry that you’ll fall, but maybe at the end of the day when you’re more tired, your balance and foot drop combined can make you feel that the task of walking has become more precarious. It all depends on the person and the severity of their foot drop or balance problem, but even the shortest distance can feel unsafe sometimes.
In your past, you’ve probably walked past at least 50 people that have worn an AFO and you never knew they had it on. These kinds of braces are very concealed and that is one of the major benefits of this kind of walking aide. As opposed to a cane that is advertised to the public every time a person uses one. AFOs are almost always discreet and can be one of the only things that will help take you off of a walking cane or walker. (Consult your physical therapist, orthotist and doctor before just stopping the use of a walker or cane).
Everyone is different so it will be important for you to have a consult with Rinella Orthotics & Prosthetics, Inc. in order to determine what level of support that you need.
There are many different kinds of AFO’s available. Some offer more support, some offer less, other AFOs have hinges as well. The point is, we only give you as much support and plastic at the ankle as you need. We don’t want to over support you but at the same time under supporting someone when they walk is also not helpful.
One of the other important factors that a person has to remember when using an AFO is that they should always go inside of the shoe whenever your foot is on the ground. These braces typically do not have tread on them and is important for you to incorporate them into a shoe. Many people think that they will have to go out and get new shoes but this is not necessarily the case. It is best to wait to get new shoes. Why do we say this? – What you can do is have the custom brace made to your size and shape then you can take the brace, to the store and try on shoes. That way you are not guessing as to what shoe would work best with your brace. Often times, people will go to the store before hand and buy two or three pairs of shoes only to have to return at least one pair.
We hope this information has helped you learn a little bit more about AFOs. Please see our other blog posts that will shoe you in depth the different kinds that are available. The information in this blog will help you become informed before you come to your first orthotics appointment.
If you have questions about obtaining a new brace or if you wish to have one repaired feel free to contact our office. 815-717-8970.