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Thread: Going vertical: KAFO's & AFO's

  1. #1

    Thumbs up Going vertical: KAFO's & AFO's

    Hey all what's shakin? You all have been great to read about. I'm 5 months post automobile roll over resulting in L3 burst fracture. I've gone through intense therapy (just like most of you)and now ready to share experiences.I've mastered the KAFO braces and now rely on my strengthening qauds and glutes to walk with crutches. I am wondering how the AFO's will work for me. The only return I havent got yet is dorsy flexion in either legs. This give me "toe drop" where i can't lift my anxle up, resulting in me draggin' my toes and having my foot floppy. Anyways let me know what you can do to add to my rehab as far as those braces go. Peace
    God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Broknwing's Avatar
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    Congratulations on the return you've gotten and progress you've made in therapy!!! If you've mastered KAFO's and are looking into getting AFO's, there are a lot of different types of AFO's out there that might be potentially good for you. I've got Richie Braces brand AFO's with "dynamic assist" to help lift my toes when stepping through. I just began PT again last week and they've helped my gait and balance A TON! I'm SOOOOO thrilled with them, I am looking forward to the progress that I'll be making as I go through PT this time around. THe Richie Braces AFOs will DEF be helping this. Their website is http://www.richiebrace.com/ As I said, I use the Dynamic Assist one. Here's the link directly to the page for that one http://www.richiebrace.com/dynamic-assist.htm Hope this helps some.
    'Chelle
    L-1 inc 11/24/03

    "My Give-a-Damn's Busted"......

  3. #3
    Dynamic asssist.. yeah that's right! thats the one i was fitted for and you saying that reminded me. The ritchie looks classy. I know that mine are coming next in 2 weeks made out of polypropylene.
    God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    I am going on Thursday for re evaluation. I have been using polypropylene braces for 17 years. I am about the same injury level as you with a burst fracture at L1-L2 with involvement of T12 and L3. My injury level is S1. It took me about a year to get the hang of them and then another year to let go of my crutches and move to two canes. I then got rid of one cane and within 3 or so years only walked with my braces. I never got dorsey flexion back but have significant pressure and numb/tingling feeling in my feet. I am able to drive without any modifications to my vehicle. I think when I was in Rehab, I just fell through the cracks as far as the evaluation was concerned. I just came home and adapted. They never asked and I didnt either. My hospital was not the greatest....LOL

    I am hoping they will allow me to get a different kind of brace as the plastic gets hot in the summer and seems to increase my burning now. They hardly ever bothered me in the first 15 years but I am having significant nerve pain now.

    If I can give you one piece of advice....always always be diligent in checking your feet for pressure areas. Pay special attention to red spots no matter what kind of brace/shoe you are using. I have had lots of skin problems over the years. I am thankful that I rarely experience them now but during the first 7 or so years I should have payed better attention. I do have significant hip pain now so also be re evaluated regularly for your braces. Up until this year I have only went back to my original hospital for my braces and they just casted from my original brace. So essentially I have been wearing the same brace for 17 years with the exception of a pressure ulcer and extensive reconstructive surgery in 1993. I think the swayed gait (I call it the penguin shuffle LOL) is the reason for my intense pain now. Hopefully a change in brace will help with some of my problems.

    Just be diligent and take care of your other joints too!!!!

    Good luck with your braces and walking efforts.
    Last edited by darkeyed_daisy; 01-22-2007 at 10:02 AM.
    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

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broknwing
    Congratulations on the return you've gotten and progress you've made in therapy!!! If you've mastered KAFO's and are looking into getting AFO's, there are a lot of different types of AFO's out there that might be potentially good for you. I've got Richie Braces brand AFO's with "dynamic assist" to help lift my toes when stepping through. I just began PT again last week and they've helped my gait and balance A TON! I'm SOOOOO thrilled with them, I am looking forward to the progress that I'll be making as I go through PT this time around. THe Richie Braces AFOs will DEF be helping this. Their website is http://www.richiebrace.com/ As I said, I use the Dynamic Assist one. Here's the link directly to the page for that one http://www.richiebrace.com/dynamic-assist.htm Hope this helps some.
    I am so much hoping this is the one they will set me up with. How much strength do you have in your knees? It seems my knees and quadriceps are the strongest part of my body.
    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

  6. #6
    Michelle -
    Awesome to hear you are doing well in PT! How's the new place? I haven't heard about the renovations lately???

  7. #7
    Be sure and stretch those joints well after walking. My worst leg has no dorsi flexion and no hamstring, very weak hip flexor (well it's all weak as crap LOL). Anyway I have to keep it stretched, especially the hip. There are lots of muscles sets in the hips. The strong ones overpower the weak, pull things out of place, cause MUCHO pain and eventually damage. I do yoga and I have to do about 7 different stretches just for the hips to keep that one out of terrible pain.

    So Maintain Them!

    Good you're doing so well, hope the afo's work out for you.

  8. #8
    My Pt and I have been working on a little pain spot in the lower back, L1 area. Also, my stronger leg is the one I have been using alot more for weight bearing, resulting in my pelvis shifting, making my weaker leg longer. It throws off my whole frame and gate pattern/ some stretching and tugging of the leg offers temp. relief but the muscles are still retracting hours after the stretching stops. Joint care is becoming a much bigger deal than i thought.
    Peace
    God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

  9. #9
    Here are some hip stretches that may help. At one point the non-functioning little muscle groups in my glut region got so tight (or loose-who knows) that the opposing (functioning) groups actually pulled my hip out of the socket! The top link in particular helped that. Always turn toward the leg you're holding. But while you're there, turn the other way too LOL, it gets some different spots.

    Joint care IS a big deal. I've been amazed. Regular yoga has turned out to be my salvation.

  10. #10

    afos and kafos

    I am like you in that I went from kafos to afo and I need dorsi assist. My orthotist was able to put gillete joints in my afos and kafo's that lift my feet up. I like this alot. How are you doing with your afo? Its a change but you can do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoLimitN8
    My Pt and I have been working on a little pain spot in the lower back, L1 area. Also, my stronger leg is the one I have been using alot more for weight bearing, resulting in my pelvis shifting, making my weaker leg longer. It throws off my whole frame and gate pattern/ some stretching and tugging of the leg offers temp. relief but the muscles are still retracting hours after the stretching stops. Joint care is becoming a much bigger deal than i thought.
    Peace

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