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Thread: Looking for a ankle brace that allows flexion

  1. #1
    Senior Member mr_coffee's Avatar
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    Looking for a ankle brace that allows flexion

    Hello everyone, I have an AFO on my left foot and it doesn't allow any ankle flexion. I believe the ankle flexion helps kick in muscles and stimulate the weak leg. I can walk without any braces w/walker but my left foot will drag thats why i'm looking for a device that will hold the foot up but will also allow flexion. ANy ideas? Here are some sites I saw but i didn't know if it would work.

    http://www.activeforever.com/product...0_T18,0142.htm
    http://www.thesportsauthority.com/sm...i-1764871.html

  2. #2
    Senior Member MikeC's Avatar
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    Mr Coffee - my AFO's have metal brackets at the ankle that allow my ankle to move. They can be adjusted to allow a little or a lot of ankle movement. I got my first pair with articulating ankles at the hospital and got a new pair at the VA after a year. Mike

    T12 Incomplete - Walking with Crutches, Injured in Oct 2003

  3. #3
    those two you put links to will not lift the foot up, as mike c says the metal brackets type are available in many styles and spring settings, however they are custom fitted by orthothic makers and are expensive if you dont have insurance

  4. #4
    Junior Member Pluto64's Avatar
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    Mike C, can you post a picture of what your using? I'm looking for the same thing as mr_coffee is

  5. #5
    There is something called I think "Toe-Ups". They are a pair of velcro straps that go around the ankle. On the front is a snap that attaches to another snap that you put on your shoe. It holds the foot up and allows for flexion. I have googled them and cannot find them, but my excellent PT recommended them for a para with a L1 injury who can walk with crutches.

  6. #6
    Senior Member MikeC's Avatar
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    Here's a picture of one of my AFOs. Kind of hard to see; but the metal around the ankle can move (or have springs like metro said). I think they cost around $400 each - I didn't need approval from my insurance if they were under $500 so the hospital did one and then the next a month or so later. Mike



    T12 Incomplete - Walking with Crutches, Injured in Oct 2003

  7. #7
    What about this. http://www.townsenddesign.com/products.aspx?ID=11-0

    I also use a tens unit w/ a heel switch for dorsi flexion.

    "Our aspirations are our possibilities." - Samuel Johnson

  8. #8
    Originally posted by Benjamin:

    What about this. http://www.townsenddesign.com/products.aspx?ID=11-0

    I also use a tens unit w/ a heel switch for dorsi flexion.

    "Our aspirations are our possibilities." - Samuel Johnson
    they bounced/rejected my email asking who the distributors are in the ny area....

  9. #9
    Benjamin, I use a AFO from Townsend Design and it is excellent, way better than anything else I have tried. I posted a picture in another thread here.

    It's carbon fiber with titanium hinges you can see right above my shoe. Inside the shoe is a foot plate that goes up about 2/3rds of the way up my foot.

    Also, Benjamin, I haven't heard of the e-stim unit with a heel switch that you describe. Can you tell us more .. where did you get it and how does it work?


    mr-coffee, I wouldn't suggest a Townsend Design AFO to you at this time. You are still pretty early in the game and will likely continue to change. The Townsend Design braces are expensive, but worth it if you are going to use it for a good amount of time.

    I'd recommend that you find an orthotist who is familiar with the gait problems of people who are neurologically impaired. I would guess that for you, at this time, an AFO more like what Mike uses would help you. Later you may get strong enough that you don't need one, or would need a different one.

    In another thread, you asked me if I had issues with knee hyperextension. I do, and that is a big reason for my using the brace, along with issues of toe drop and general weakness in the leg. Hyperextending your knee for long periods of time will result in serious complications. While some believe a knee brace can protect your knee, they don't do it very well. I did a bunch of research on this and properly designed and fit AFO is the best way to protect the knee.

    Having foot drop also contributes to knee hyperextension. If you don't get a good heel strike in your gait pattern, when your body travels forward and weights the leg, the knee hyperextends. With the heel strike, the dorsiflexors act to cushion the blow, positioning the lower leg and knee to propeerly take the weight of your body. The hamstrings and quads are also involved in the shock absorbtion and knee protection.

  10. #10
    Senior Member mr_coffee's Avatar
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    thanks for the tips guys. nice cast bruce, it loooks like that would work well but your right i wouldn't get one like that yet. So your saying if I use an AFO and a knee brace it won't help the hyperextension problem? The knee brace has 2 titanium rods that will lock the knee out, its kinda like the KFO but its not as cumbersum to put on nor as high up on the leg. It was such a pain using the KFO if i wanted to sit down on a chair.

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