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Thread: New AFO ?s

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    mercer, wisconsin

    New AFO ?s

    I am c5-7 inc x 9 yrs. I walk whenever possible using a walker. My right side is affected more than my left. I wear an afo and have very weak hip flexor. I recently saw a new PT because I had fallen and she suggested that I could use a new afo because my toes hit on the right and I hike my hip to clear them. She feels that I work "too hard" and that an afo with some "spring" in it would work better.

    Well I saw an orthotist last week, and because I have so much tone in that foot/leg he is suggesting an afo that has a molded plate over the instep/ankle. It would have velcro straps in an x-shape to hold it in and then also a strap just below the knee. In addition the heel would be built up to form a "rocker" type of sole.

    He told me that they use this type of an afo for chilren with cerebral palsy.

    Has anyone had any experience with this type?

  2. #2
    What you describe sounds like the AFO I used to wear for foot drop, and it worked very well. I wear a KAFO now due to knee hyperextension, but that is the result of progressive nerve deterioration and no fault of the AFO. I think you've probably received good advice from the new PT and orthotist.

  3. #3
    Hi ima,

    I have cerebral palsy, and I have had the kind of AFO's you are talking about. Mine didn't have cross-straps over the ankle, but they did have extra laces there. I later switched to AFO's without that extra bulk, because the ones with laces are even more difficult to find shoes for than the ones I have now. Plus, following the end of my growth spurt (and a few tendon lengthening procedures), I found that wearing a shoe with a strap over the ankle, or a pair of Converse sneakers with laces over the ankle, was enough for me.

    Note of caution, though: I don't think an AFO with a spring will work for you if you have high tone. Unless I'm misunderstanding what you mean, that type of AFO is designed to allow your foot more than ninety degrees of dorsiflexion, which, if your tone is high enough, will be impossible no matter what you do. I think you're better off sticking with a fixed ninety-degree angle.

    But that's just my opinion. If your orthotist determines that an AFO with spring is truly the best option for you, then by all means, go for it. But do make sure they know what they are talking about. In twenty years of wearing various orthotics for cerebral palsy, I'm sorry to say I've met more than my fair share of orthotists who had no clue about the effects of tone and spasticity (and I've also met many who did; it seems to depend somewhat on their usual target 'market', so to speak, and therefore the kind of problems they deal with on a daily basis).

    P.S.: In case you're curious, see here for the type of shoes I wear indoors and/or on hot days with my AFO's. Yes, they're made for men. Which means they have a wider sole than the women's models, which means they won't look bent all out of shape when you put an AFO in there. And the good thing about these is: the strap goes right over the ankle.
    Last edited by Saranoya; 05-30-2012 at 01:13 AM.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Saranoya View Post
    In twenty years of wearing various orthotics for cerebral palsy, I'm sorry to say I've met more than my fair share of orthotists who had no clue about the effects of tone and spasticity.
    I can relate! I've been astonished at the lack of even common sense among the orthotists I've encountered - fortunately, the last one was an exception.

    Those are all great points that Saranoya makes, ima2003.

  5. #5

    Feet problems

    i have a weak left side sometimes my feet feel like they are broken, is it cos of SCI that all of our biomechanics are out of sync?

    when they are bad it is difficult and painful even to put wt. on them.Its not plantar fascitis .

    can we have spasms in our feet? My left foot is the worst bad shakey clonus usually at night, could these episode, be due to that .

    Any suggestions,

    summer has finally arrived in the U.K.

    all the best

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    I wear. Plastic afo,s because I have mild spastic diplegic cerebral palsy and they have batman on them. I have 2 straps on both.

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