New AFOs

Just wanted to share pics of C’s new afos. They are cut well before the toe and have much less plastic around the foot to allow for more natural movement/allow her to feel the connection between toes, ankles, knees, etc. The backs are very rigid. She has only had them one day and we are going back to make a couple adjustments because of red marks so I have not seen her in them for an extended period of time. Β I’m not completely sure what I think of them but so far, I’m excited and glad to be offering her more movement/feedback than she would get in traditional AFOs.

(I still have her more rigid AFOs for sleeping). I’m very interested to see what her ABM practitioner and her PT think!

11 comments

  • Those are very interesting. I have a bunch of questions:
    Why do they have that ridge down the back of the leg?
    Where is she getting red marks?
    I understand what you mean about feeling connections, but I’m curious can she also actually feel her toes and ankles?

    And how do you like them now that you have had them for a few days?

    We got our new AFOs too. I’m going to go post comparison pictures.

  • The red marks were on the side, bottom of her feet but she has had to have every pair of braces ever adjusted for red marks so thats nothing specific to these braces. Because the lack of plastic allows for more range of motion, the ridge down the back keeps her in better position and adds more stability. She can’t feel her feet–sensation speaking. She can feel her ankles (both some sensation, as well as, overall feeling internally–will complain of pain during stretches). When she wears rigid afos, she is more apt to stand on the sides of her feet. When she wears afos with the toes exposed, she is more apt to stand toes forward/flat footed. So I’m not sure what exactly she is feeling but its clear that she has a much better sense of where her feet are in less bracing.

    I am actually really liking them. They are not made perfectly and I have some concerns. One being, they are not the type of brace that would be recommended for clubbed feet. However, my hope is with these braces, she will gain more flexbility/loosen her ankles by flexing them more. Who knows? I am just maintaining aggressive stretching/massages and keeping an eye on the clubbing (and surgery later is a definite anyway). OK, disclaimer aside, she is walking really well in them. They make sense to me. The placement of the plastic seems well thought out and not excessive. So, right now, I’m really glad we have them.

  • That is *very* interesting that she positions better with more sensation.

    How much does she wear them?

    How do they differ from a recommended clubfoot brace? The exposed toes?

  • Ooops, that was me. I hate it when I do that. I was logged in as Admin.

  • Yes, for clubbed feet they should extend further on her feet. A little bit of toes exposed is ok with clubbed feet but these have more than just a little. She wears them all day and reg. afos at night.

  • How is she liking them? How do you like them? Still feeling like she’s maintaining better feedback? Still going well?

  • MrsK, yes, on all accounts. Her ABM practitioner was impressed with them and I do feel like C is getting feedback and that they give her adequate support.

  • I’m so glad to hear it!

    I thought of you today. We’ve not been using our braces because Z is trying to learn to pull up, and they just don’t allow for that. I mentioned it to PT and she started talking about her love/hate relationship with AFOs. She loves them for standing and stabilizing. But she really doesn’t like them for kids learning to walk. They cause wrong positioning, crazy scissor steps, increased instability when they are without them, and the list went on. I really thought about you and how you are trying to help C get a good mix of benefits.

    Now that she is walking a little, Z is really struggling with them. Her feet get tangled up together etc. We are very fortunate that she’s doing well enough, and that we were without club foot issues, that we can forego them as we see fit without losing ground. Not everyone is so lucky, I know.

    Anyway, just thinking of you and all of this today and wanted to tell you I admire what you’ve been able to do to get C what seems best all around.

  • Thanks for thinking of us. πŸ™‚ Braces really are so complicated. The idea behind these braces came from an orthotist who has also been a surgeon so he has a very good understanding of how the body works. I’m sure Z is benefiting a lot from getting to experience the stability of the braces and also the sense of herself without them. Even with the braces, I’m sure she will grow accustomed quickly and learn to move more smoothly in them. Seems like she is doing really great!

  • That’s an interesting switch, surgeon to orthotist. What a fantastic resource to have!

    Braces *are* so complicated! I have to say, before now that part seemed so straight forward. Live and learn, eh?

  • We didn’t actually go to surgeon/orthotist. Our local orthotist actually copied a pair of the originals. πŸ™‚

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