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Thread: Foot drop splint for walking in pool

  1. #1

    Foot drop splint for walking in pool

    I'm an incomplete quad walking part time with crutches and an AFO on 1 side. Lately I've been doing a lot of pool work. I'm currently just walking barefoot but due to my inability to dorsiflex my foot on the side I wear my AFO (on dry land), my toes have been scraping on the bottom of the pool (causing scratches/scrapes that take forever to heal). I don't want to wear my AFO and shoes in the pool but was thinking one of those small lightweight splints might help. Something like

    Does anyone use one of these and have a good one to recommend? It would have to be able to be submerged in water, be relatively easy to get on and off (with quad hands) and not have to attach to a shoe or anything like that... and of course it needs to provide a good amount of dorsiflexsion to allow my foot to clear as I step on that side.

    Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!

    *** c4/c5 incomplete *** Injured in Summer 2003 ***

  2. #2
    To protect your feet, you can wear socks or reef/water shoes, but they won't provide you with any lateral stability or prevent excessive dorsiflexion of your ankle. This brace does not look like it would provide much lateral stability either. Check for some other "ankle foot orthosis" (AFO) on Amazon and you can see some other options.

    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  3. #3
    dave, I've tried that exact brace and it does NOTHING. I can't recommend another one, because I've never found an "over-the-counter" brace that works. As you know, it's not safe to wear an actual AFO without shoes, because you'll slip. Socks alone will just get waterlogged and scrape off your foot within a minute or so in the pool. I suggest you discuss the situation with your orthotist and see if he/she can recommend - or build - a device that you can use safely in the pool.
    MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions

  4. #4
    Thanks Bonette for saving me from wasting $30 on this brace. I've tried the sock thing to no avail. I have an old afo I guess I can use with a pair of Tevas. I was hoping for something a bit quicker (low maintenance) so if anyone has had good results with an over the counter brace/splint that does not require a shoe, I'm all ears. Thanks again!

    *** c4/c5 incomplete *** Injured in Summer 2003 ***

  5. #5
    This one looks like it might work - it appears to provide nice ankle support support, as well as lifting the foot, and the bottom with the strap seem not to be slippery:
    MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions

  6. #6
    All that ankle support is actually overkill for me in the pool. And unfortunately, listed as one of the Features is "Hinge design for normal gait activity". Between that statement and the picture of the foot/ankle in plantar flexion, I'm thinking it wouldn't do much for the foot drop as it doesn't look like there's a way to lock the hinge at a specific angle or anything like that... which is pretty much what i need. The search continues. Thanks for checking into this more though!!

    *** c4/c5 incomplete *** Injured in Summer 2003 ***

  7. #7
    Right, I hear you. Can you call your orthotist and spell out the specific needs (as listed in your post above) for an AFO you can use in the pool? The reason I stress this, is that I'm always amazed at the developments that have taken place between my infrequent orthotist visits. Sometimes I assume that Hanger can't help me any more than they have, only to be presented with several options that didn't exist before.
    MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions

  8. #8
    Yeah I was just thinking the AFO-in-the-sandal seems like an awfuly primitive technique for such a common scenario. I'm sure it's worth giving them a call.

    *** c4/c5 incomplete *** Injured in Summer 2003 ***

  9. #9
    Yes! Surely there are many, many people who need an AFO for water exercise. Hope you get some good help with this!
    MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions

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