AFO Ankle Foot Orthosis

Braces for the lower extremities are designed to stabilize the lower leg for the purpose of weight bearing and walking. An ankle foot orthosis (AFO) is a lower leg brace typically made out of plastic and a combination of foams or leather which is worn inside of a shoe. There are other versions of AFOs which are attached to the outside of a shoe with metal, but these are not as common due to the limitation of shoe options. An AFO may be a custom molded device or a custom fitted prefabricated device. The Orthotist will select the materials used to fabricate the AFO based on the purpose of the brace and the strength needed to support the activity level of the user. Consideration must also be made to the bulk of the AFO brace and the shoe that it must fit into. An AFO may be prescribed to promote healing after an injury or procedure providing immobilization to a fracture or surgical fixation. An AFO provides control to the foot and ankle by restricting excessive joint motion. To promote a normal walking pattern, an AFO may be prescribed to stabilize the foot and ankle secondary to weakness. Using hinges or dynamic materials an orthosis can enhance motion when muscle activity is not strong enough and coordination is affected. Bracing can also inhibit or decrease abnormal muscle tone or cutaneous and postural reflexes. AFOs may be designed to correct or prevent progression of a deformity by supporting the foot and ankle alignment in order to reduce weight bearing deviations. Proper position of the foot and ankle during impact is critical to safe and efficient walking. Using high grade materials and skilled fabrication techniques the Certified Orthotist has the ability to treat a variety of lower extremity conditions. Click here to view pdf

KAFO Knee Ankle Foot Orthosis

A KAFO brace is designed to stabilize the knee and ankle-foot while walking using locking knee joints with the ability to bend for sitting. These braces are usually constructed with plastic attached to one or two metal uprights or carbon fiber for lightweight strength. A KAFO may be used for short term rehabilitation transitioning to an AFO or fabricated for users with long standing disabilities. Click here to view pdf

KO Knee Orthosis

A Knee Orthosis may be prescribed for long term use for chronic conditions due to a weakness or deformity. They also serve to stabilize the knee after a traumatic injury or promote healing after surgical intervention. Often times the brace will have an adjustable joint which is used to restrict range of motion along with rigid uprights to provide biomechanical leverage. Orthoses for the lower extremity may be custom molded or custom fitted. The type of knee orthosis prescribed will depend on the diagnosis and duration it will be used for. Knee Braces are used in rehabilitation cases as they feature adjustable hinges that easily allow range of motion changes as the stages of healing occur. The adjustable brace allows the user to participate in range of motion exercises while using the locking feature for stabilization while walking or during weight bearing activities. Knee laxity from ligamentous or chronic instabilities such as Osteo arthritis are treated with more streamline knee orthoses as they will be for long term use. The rigid frame of a ligamentous type knee brace is typically constructed of aluminum or carbon fiber. The rigid frame and adjustable hinge combination assists with supporting the knee joint without restricting mobility. An Unloader Knee brace is commonly prescribed for treatment of Osteo arthritis where a compartment of the knee has degenerative cartilage with bon eon bone contact. The rigid frame with rotational strap works with the adjustable hinges to improve knee alignment. Click here to view pdf

Hip Orthoses

Hip braces are prescribed to assist with hip dislocations or fracture stabilization. Having a section at the hip and thigh connected by a joint limits range of motion of the hip providing a reminder on proper body movements. Click here to view pdf