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Thread: AFO Recommendations

  1. #31
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Somewhere in the Rocky Mountains
    Posts
    8,152
    My carbon fiber has never snapped but it does crack and break apart peice by peice.

    they do wear out my shoes too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baetis View Post
    Since my surgery I've worn custom but heavy, rigid, plastic AFO's that have a white strap right below the knee.

    I've been wearing the carbon-fiber Allard "Toe-Off" for over a week now. I love it. So far, I only have one issue with it. I'm sure I'll have more after a couple of months though.

    In any event, this new AFO fits right inside a regular pair of shoes. I simply take out the insole of the shoe (if I can't remove it, I'll use a cheap drugstore insert) and put it on the brace's footplate. I put the footplate in the shoe and then slide my foot right into the shoe. Since 1999 I've been splitting pairs or just buying custom ordered dress shoes from Alden or Allen-Edmonds. I required a EEE on my left. I'll be able to wear this with a regularly sized pair of shoes now. I can't tell you how happy that makes me. The only problem is that it is wearing a thin line/hole inside my new dress shoe - it seems as though that could wear through even the outer. I wonder if it would help if I wrapped the shaft of the leg brace in a thin piece of leather chamois. Has anyone else experienced this "wearing through" of shoe leather?

    Does anyone have experience with these carbon fiber braces snapping? That damn popping noise always comes at the worst time. I want to go hiking but this brace is so thin and lightweight I'm afraid it will break under the pressure.

    I'm happy to post photos if anyone thinks it would be helpful.
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

    My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

  2. #32
    Thanks for the quick responses.

    I'll give the Toe-Off a go and if it doesn't work out I'll ask for the Blue Rocker.

    I think the strapping tape is a great idea. I should have some around. I'll try that. Hopefully it will slow down the damage.

    Baetis

  3. #33
    I asked about the Noodle AFO in another thread.

    Has anyone tried it?

    http://www.kineticr.com/noodle.html

    Thanks,

    --b

  4. #34
    I am writing for my husband.

    My husband is having great difficulty finding a brace maker that can make braces for his plantar flexion problem (he cannot stand on his toes). Because he can't keep his toes on the ground, he tips back on his heels when he stands still. His balance as really bad. Two brace makers have not been able to make a new brace he can wear. The hinges on his current braces (hinges for drop foot that are reversed to force his foot down) are no longer strong enough to keep his toes down. His problems stem from cauda equina syndrome caused by his ankylosing spondyilitis.

    We am trying find a good brace and brace maker that has something that will address Bill's three problems, his weak plantar flexion and his need for arch and ankle support.

    He does NOT have drop foot! Most of my research comes up with braces for drop foot. Do you have any recommendations?

  5. #35
    I also use plastic AFO's with velcro bindings. Last year I had a bad experience with a new set of AFO's. There was too much brace on skin contact and after using a standing frame, I developed a pressure sore on my left metatarsal, after one week. Just be careful with new AFO's and do many skin inspections. My incident caused me nine months of wound care tribulations. T-11 inc.
    In the dime stores and bus stations, people talk of situations, read books, repeat quotations, draw conclusions on the wall. ......Bob Dylan


  6. #36
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    6

    AFO of CES

    I have tried and worn a variety of AFO's for Cauda Equina Syndrome (zero plantar flexor) over the last six years (I was also a test subject/guinea pig for a bionic powered afo being developed by Georgia Tech) . I can share my experience with different designs, materials, and off the shelf versus custom but it would help to have a little more information about you husband's condition and goals.

    I am 53 but staying active (cycling, swimming, regular daily walking to and from the car, power walking with trekking poles, and rowing)
    I have found different braces work for different activities. It takes a lot of trial and error.

    For instance the custom carbon fiber hinged braces I had made about a year ago ($4000) were supposed to help me walk better. I blew out the 'super heavy duty' hinges in two months and was told they (the hinges) were beyond repair. On a whim we decide to have the hinges welded and I now have a great set of bicycling AFO's. Not very good for walking though.

    I can share more but don't want to bore you by heading off in the wrong direction

  7. #37
    Texaschatter, I think it would be a good idea for your husband to have an appointment with a physiatrist, who will assess what type of brace your husband needs - you could end up spending a fortune trying things out on your own, whereas an orthotist (working with a physiatrist) can customize a brace that will have a much better chance of helping than something off the shelf. Physiatrists and orthotists - as is true in any profession - are not all equally competent, so ask for recommendations (if possible). Sometimes physical therapists are good sources for referrals, if you don't know anyone who actually wears a brace or has been treated by a physiatrist. You might have to travel to find the best help, though I know that isn't always feasible. Best wishes with this - it's so important to get the right brace. I had to go 250 miles to find a good physiatrist and orthotist! Hopefully you'll have better luck where you live.

  8. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by rswann50 View Post
    I am 53 but staying active (cycling, swimming, regular daily walking to and from the car, power walking with trekking poles, and rowing)
    I have found different braces work for different activities. It takes a lot of trial and error.

    For instance the custom carbon fiber hinged braces I had made about a year ago ($4000) were supposed to help me walk better. I blew out the 'super heavy duty' hinges in two months and was told they (the hinges) were beyond repair. On a whim we decide to have the hinges welded and I now have a great set of bicycling AFO's. Not very good for walking though.
    What type of bicycling AFO's are you wearing?

    I have neurofibromatosis and have had a couple of malignancies in my legs. Presently, I wear an AFO on my left leg. I just found out today I have another tumor in my right leg that will most likely need to be removed. If so, I'll lose sensation and function in my right leg from the knee down. Looks like I'll be wearing two AFO's...

    I'm active and the Allard carbon AFO's are just not holding up. They're much better than hard plastic but still not perfect. Maybe I'm expecting too much.

    This is off-topic for this thread but are you using modified/adaptive controls for your car? I've already started researching those. The GuidoSimplex system with the accelerator ring looks great.

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