Providing stability to keep you moving

Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO)

An Ankle Foot Orthosis, or AFO, is a specialized medical device designed to provide many different benefits. The device is worn below the knee and around the ankle and then onto the foot. An AFO is custom-built by our Orthotists to fit your needs. Our experts are here to help you create the perfect AFO orthosis for you, contact us today to see how we can help! We also provide other lower body orthotics including foot orthotics and knee braces, and more information about knee braces here.

AFO orthosis from Ossur

Ankle Foot Orthosis is able to help treat a variety of injuries and also other conditions. The following is a list of just some of the conditions and injuries they treat This list is not comprehensive so contact us if you have any questions.

  • Drop foot/dorsiflexion weakness
  • Postoperative
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Prophylactic (preventative)
  • Tibialis posterior dysfunction
  • Ankle sprains
  • Ankle instability
  • Injuries
  • Diabetes
  • Neuropathy
  • Multiple Sclerosis

Benefits of Ankle Foot Orthosis

Not only can an AFO help with the various conditions but the goal of an AFO is to provide various benefits to the ankle. An AFO will help with providing shock absorption while also protecting the foot and ankle. They will also redistribute the pressure points on the foot and make sure the ankle and foot will not move too much to promote healing. An AFO can also provide stability while also helping treat foot or ankle alignment. For example, for overpronation or excess supination, the AFO helps improve the symptoms caused by these conditions.

Types of Ankle Foot Orthoses

We carry ankle foot orthoses from brands such as Thuasne, Breg, DJO Global, Ossur and Ottobock. Here are a few types of ankle foot orthoses we carry.

Flexible AFO brace

A lightweight ankle foot orthosis used to support the area. It is also used to help with foot drop. The lightweight design of the braces also means that they should fit inside most shoes and boots. Our orthotists can help custom-fit these ankle foot orthoses for you.

Main uses

  • Post-surgery of the Achilles tendon

  • Foot drop from neurological or nerve diseases, Charcot Marie Tooth, multiple sclerosis, stroke

Rigid AFO

These rigid braces are useful in stabilizing the ankle. They also help with the alignment of the muscles and joints. They do not flex like the flexible brace and they provide support for the ankle.

Main uses

  • Ankle instability

  • Injury

  • Osteoarthritis

Hinged AFO

These braces are similar to the rigid AFO but have a hinge to allow some movement of the foot. The ankle joint allows some up-and-down movement (plantarflexion or dorsiflexion). There is a wide range of hinges available for your activity level, weight, and more.

Main uses

  • Treatment of conditions such as cerebral palsy, stroke, arthritis

  • Conditions where side-to-side motions needs to be controlled

How can an ankle foot orthosis brace help with foot drop?

What is foot drop?

Foot drop or drop foot is a condition that can happen as a result of a stroke, nerve injury, neurological disorders or muscle disorders. It is a condition that makes lifting the front of the foot difficult. This can then mean that your foot will drag while walking. Foot drop can be temporary or permanent.

How an ankle foot orthosis helps with foot drop

Foot drop is the inability to raise part of your feet. The way a foot drop brace such as an ankle foot orthotic can help is by limiting how much the foot can move. As a result, an ankle foot orthosis helps with foot drop by limiting the dorsiflexion/plantar flexion of the ankle. In other words, an AFO brace worn on your lower leg prevents how much the ankle can move up and down. Also, the ankle foot orthosis stops the foot from dropping while during the swing phase when taking a step. The brace also encourages the foot to strike the ground on the heel. This helps improve your gait by reducing how much the foot deviates.

What to look for in ankle foot orthoses for foot drop

Limiting how much the ankle can move may cause walking to no longer feel as fluid and also more tiring. This is where flexible and hinged AFOs can help. The flexible AFO brace causes walking to feel less taxing. Hinged AFOs on the other hand provide limited movement of the foot. This movement helps the foot build muscle and also stretch.

So why would you choose a rigid brace? These braces are useful for aligning the muscle and the joints. It is also useful for people who need high amounts of ankle stability. If you have any questions on what type of AFO would work best for you, contact us and we will help.

How it works

Our certified orthotists and technicians will first take the prescription provided by your doctor.  After that, we will perform an initial assessment to examine your leg. We will also help you with any questions you may have. Then we will take a cast or 3D scan of your leg to get the perfect fit for your orthosis. Using this mould we will make the orthosis to fit the prescription and your specific requirements. Contact us today and see how we can help.

FAQ

What is an Ankle Foot Orthosis brace?

An Ankle Foot Orthosis, or AFO, is a specialized medical device designed to provide many different benefits. The device is worn below the knee and around the ankle and then onto the foot. An AFO is custom-built by our Orthotists to fit your needs. Our experts are here to help you create the perfect AFO orthosis for you, contact us today to see how we can help! We also provide other lower body orthotics including foot orthotics.

Types of AFO braces

There are many types of braces  These include:

  • Flexible AFO Brace
  • Rigid AFO
  • Hinged AFO

These each have their own uses and are useful for treating a variety of conditions.

What conditions does an AFO treat?

An AFO is useful to help treat the symptoms of a variety of conditions. These include but are not limited to:

  • Drop foot or dorsiflexion weakness
  • Post-operative
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Prophylactic (preventative)
  • Tibialis posterior dysfunction
  • Ankle sprains
  • Ankle instability
  • Injuries
  • Diabetes
  • Neuropathy
  • Multiple sclerosis
How long should an AFO be worn?

Generally, an AFO should be worn for short periods of time as needed. Follow the guidelines from your doctor for how long the AFO medical device should be worn for. If you have any questions, our certified orthotists are here to help you.

How do I clean an AFO brace?

It is important to keep your AFO clean and in working order. These instructions may change depending on the type of AFO you have.

  1. Rinse the orthotic
  2. Using gentle dish soap, rub every part of the orthotic with the soap
  3. Rinse the soap off
  4. Dry the orthotic off with a towel

Have more questions? Check out our FAQ page, and also our Orthotics FAQ. Also, our experts are here to help you, contact us and let us know how we can help.

Our Most Popular Brands

Breg
Össur Life Without Limitations
Med Spec
Corflex
Townsend A Thuasne Company
DJO Global
Springloaded

We have the perfect fit for you.

WHAT TO EXPECT ON YOUR FIRST VISIT

Your First Visit

Please plan to come 10-15 minutes before your appointment time to complete necessary forms. Want to save time? Print and then complete the form below.

Meeting your Specialist

Your first appointment will include an initial assessment and also a chance to meet your specialist and ask questions.

If you have a prescription from your doctor, be sure to bring it with you.

Be prepared to discuss your medical history and also talk about your goals and expectations. We will also complete a physical assessment and try out a variety of orthotics to see what best meets your needs.

Please dress comfortably and bring shorts. We may need to measure, cast or use 3D-scanning to customize your fit and maximize comfort.

Funding/Costs

Direct Billing through AADL and WCB with a prescription from your doctor.

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