What Is An AFO (Ankle Foot Orthosis)?
An ankle foot othrosis (AFO) is a “leg brace” designed to help with ankle and foot as it relates to balance and walking. Traditional AFOs are usually used to help patients walk better if they have muscle weakness or instability. There are several types of braces used for the same purpose, including AFOs, PRAFOs, CAM Walkers or C.R.O.W. orthosis, all of which help the ankle and foot. Typically though, if you hear a medical professional talk about an “AFO” it refers to a plasic brace that is worn inside of a shoe. These braces can really help you walk better if you suffer from foot drop or another walking aliment.
**Need more proof? – Check out this link that follows. It shows 2 videos about people who have really benefited from the use of their AFO : https://rinella-op.com/foot-drop-brace-afo-kafo/
Prefabricated or Custom AFOs – What works better for patients?
AFOs might be pre-assembled or custom made, but what really works better for patients?
Usually, if a patient is going to have ot use a brace for some time, a custom-made device would be the better way to go. This is because custom braces take into account the patient’s specific needs and the nuances of their ankle and foot. Usually the custom-made braces take no less than 24 hours to create in emergencies, but can take up to 2 weeks. Up to 2 weeks is considered to be within reason for “non-emergency” AFO orders.
If pre-fab braces fit well, they can be just as useful for patients. There’s no wait when it comes to a pre-fabricated AFO; when a patient can’t wait, it might be the better solution. You’ll need to talk with your orthotist in your area when it comes time to decide which type of brace you may require.
Take Home Points For Medical Professionals
When requesting a brace for your patient, the longer the orthotist has to be able to help with the patient, the better off your patient will be. Pre-assembled AFOs can help in a pinch, but ideal support will come from a custom-made brace. When you know how long your patient will need to wear a brace, this information will help you, your patient and the orthotist. If your patient’s prognosis is good and they will only need your brace for a short time, perhaps a pre-assembled brace would be a good idea.
* This is health information. Brace scenarios can vary slightly, so it is best to get medical advice from your local, licensed orthotist regarding your particular situation.
**Here’s that video link again that shows AFOs in action, if you want to check it out : https://rinella-op.com/foot-drop-brace-afo-kafo/