For many doctor's and physical therapist's an AFO is a great way to combat this disorder. These AFO's can be very thin, light weight, and provide very little support or can be very heavy, bulky, and rigid. Depending on multiple factors such as patient height and weight and the intensity of the disorder orthotic practicioners much choose an appropriate brace.
Here at O'Connor Orthopedic we generally choose braces based upon a very different set of criteria than many other orthotic providers. Our philosophy is to choose the least amount of brace as possible in the hopes that our patient's will progress and get better. We like to believe that all of our patient's will progress and continue to get better. We chose to put light weight and thing braces on patients that allow them to regain muscle control, build strength and relearn how to walk naturally instead of bracing for how the patient presents at the current moment. If we only view how the patient is currently presenting we fear building an AFO that will limit motion and prevent progress which may confine them to a brace forever.
Furthermore we like to think of all bracing as another tool or aide in the rehab process. Much like a cane, crutches, or even a wheel chair is most often used for a small amount of time or for certain activities we believe braces are the same. Do not view a brace as an abject you must wear all the time and are going to be stuck in forever but as a rehabilitation tool that will allow you to progress and return to your normal lifestyle. Whether you use the brace all day everyday or once a week when you are feeling weak, As long as they serve a purpose they are worth it.
Please call or email for an AFO evaluation. We enjoy working with physical therapist's, doctor's, and the rehab team to further your treatment plan. 714.635.2650