Assessment and Assistance for Foot Drop
If you are suffering from foot drop you may be in need of assistance. There are many types of walking tools available to help you. The first is an ankle foot orthosis or AFO. This is a brace which is designed to provide additional support to your ankle and your foot. So if you have difficulty walking you can use this type of brace to smooth out your walking process. These braces can provide every day support walking, in an effort to ensure you can regain your movement.
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Benefits of an AFO For Foot Drop
One of the key benefits of an AFO is its sleek design; they blend in seamlessly with almost all shoes and can be easily hidden beneath pants. Compare this to its counterpart, the walking cane. Everybody is aware that you have a walking disability when you use a cane, but not so much when you use an AFO. They are designed for regular wear and discretionary use and for those two reasons, most people are unaware of how many others are wearing them when they are out and about.
What Are Most AFOs Made Of?
In most cases, ankle foot orthoses (AFOs) are made out of 3/16 ” plastic. However, they can be constructed from metal or leather depending on the severity of your issue and if you need this design due to preference. When you get an AFO made from plastic, it will be customized to fit your ankle and foot, and fit inside of your shoe. The AFO be made from an impression of your foot, taken by an orthotist, or brace specialist. This ensures it fits perfectly.
Be Careful With Internet AFOs
If you opt not to use a professional specialist, and instead purchase an off-the-shelf AFO from the internet or other source, you will need to have it customized to the size and shape of your foot in order to enjoy all of the benefits. In the end, it will cost you more to not only purchase a poorly fitting brace but to visit a specialist after the fact to have it fitted to your foot. In addition to this, investing in an AFO from a non-specialist will negate the chances that your insurance will cover the costs.
When you go to order a brace you should try to remember that the more time the professional has with the patient, the better. Premade braces can be generally used for timing reasons and can help patients walk better. However, the best support will almost always come from a custom made brace. If someone knows how long the brace will be needed, then the information will be beneficial to everyone. If the prognosis is good and the patient is only going to need to use the brace for a small window of time, then perhaps a premade brace based on that time frame might make more sense.
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