The following blog will cover what a KAFO is and how a correctly designed one can help someone walk. If you live or work in Chicago or its suburbs then contact Rinella Orthotics, Inc. to obtain one of these special braces.
1.) KAFO Definition
The term, KAFO, is an acronym that stands for knee-ankle-foot orthosis. An orthosis is a brace that is designed by a professional in the field of orthotics. In other words, it is a brace for the entire leg and foot.
2.) KAFO Design
In most cases, the design of a KAFO is based off an impression of a person. This means that it is a custom made brace. This is done by taking a cast and measurements of a person’s thigh, leg and foot. The definitive brace can touch most, or all of the sides and bottom of the foot, leg and thigh.
Usually there is nothing that goes on top of the foot, or any portion of the leg or thigh as well. In medical terms this means that there is nothing touching the dorsum of the foot, pretibial skin or anterior midline thigh. – This is what usually happens, but depending on the situation, people can have what is called a pretibial shell or a “tongue” that goes on the thigh. Typically, this can be done to help eliminate any residual movement of the tibia, fibula and femur.
3.) KAFO Indications
Typically, there are two common scenarios in which someone will get a KAFO.
A.) Knee and ankle weakness. If a person just has a drop foot this is not enough to get a KAFO. However, if they have knee weakness that is causing them to buckle and fall, then a KAFO is indicated. Some researchers have indicated that if the knee is less than a 3 plus out of 5, then it is time for a KAFO.
B.) Tibial or femoral fracture. If you want to stop a fracture from moving then a fracture type KAFO is indicated. Usually, drop locks are present to lock the knee in extension at the very least when someone stands. Each fracture and KAFO is different so the physician’s decision on wearing parameters plays a big role here.
4.) KAFO Brace Price
If you were to pay cash for this brace, the price would be approximately $1500 for a custom KAFO. To be honest, a lot of work goes into make a custom KAFO and the price is justified. If however, you need upgrades like a pretibial shell or a thigh “tongue” then the price will potentially go up. – Having said that, it is very important to note that insurance cover the entire cost of a KAFO. So, your out of pocket cost could be zero. – It is important to get in touch with your brace expert, “orthotist” to determine a quote of benefits.
This information here is not medical advice. It is health information written by an orthotist.
If you live or work near Bolingbrook or Naperville, then give us a call today for any of your bracing needs. 815-717-8970.