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AFO Braces: A Comparison



Just as there are a number of causes for foot drop, there are also a number of AFO braces to treat the condition. Here is a short rundown of the most common:


Short Leg – lightweight AFO braces

• Fits easily into shoes
• Provides a patient with easy control of his or her foot
• Keeps foot and leg at a 90-degree angle
• Fixed hinge can be a drawback, because it doesn’t allow for certain types of flexion

Energy Return – AFO braces made of carbon graphite materials

• Offers built-in, natural flex
• Provides more flexibility than traditional models
• Increases comfort with a cut-out heel section

Solid Ankle – Bulkier model of AFO braces

• Offers great amount of control
• Provides good alternative for patients with little dorsiflexion strength and an unstable knee
• Also useful in combination with surgery for some paraplegics

Posterior Leaf – AFO braces that fit in many lace-up shoes

• Provides alternative treatment for foot drop patients with unstable knees
• Allows for custom trimming and reshaping for increased comfort
• Largely replaced by newer models

Dorsiflexion Assist – AFO braces equipped with a spring-like hinge

• Raises foot when the foot leaves the ground
• Creates more natural walk for patients with mild to moderate foot drop
• Also appropriate for patients who have a flat or unstable foot
• Not suitable for patients who are taller than six feet or who weigh more than 255 lbs.

Heelift® AFO – Soft foam, customizable device stabilized by a semi-rigid polypropylene brace

• Eases irritation of leg
• Reduces risk of injuring the non-affected leg
• Offers custom fit for greater patient comfort
• Decreases risk of developing or exacerbating heel pressure sores
• Best and safest for bed/wheelchair patients with limited ambulation

Click here for more details on Heelift AFO, or contact us now to learn how our AFO braces can improve your patients’ care.

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