Hi! My son wears DAFO's, which are very similar to AFO's but are made of a more lightweight flexible type plasic rather than the stiffer thicker plasic of most AFO's. AFO's are 'ankle foot orthosis'. Basically an ankle brace. They are most often used for spastic CP, but other types as well. They are made to help align and straighten the position of the foot and anke, and aid in helping to stand and weight bear without the foot or ankle shifting into an incorrect postion. Also to help reduce tone in proximal muscle groups and thereby improve function. I hope that cleared it up a bit for you!
Last edited by PajamaMomma; 07-21-2004 at 09:05 PM.
Yes, my son's have all been made from plastic. But not all manufacturers are equal. Early on the plastic was still pretty heavy, but later his therapists started ordering from a company called Cascade in Oregon, I believe. Those devices were significantly lighter and more comfortable. He's really enjoying these weeks where he's been free of the brace though. I hope he doesn't have to return to one at the end of the summer.
I think that metal and/or steel is still being used in some leg braces. A child in my sons class wears a pair of braces that go clear up to his waist, and from what I saw they looked like they had a thin metal rod on the sides with plastic attached, that contoured around each leg. I have an older cousin (45) who wore leg braces as a child. His parents still had them in their garage up to a few years ago... and they showed them to me. Wow! Those things looked very uncomfortable! The pair I saw my sons classmate wearing looked to be much more comfortable then the older style ones!
Last edited by PajamaMomma; 07-22-2004 at 08:36 AM.
I wear an AFO for lower leg spasticity and foot drop. I love my brace because it is extremely lightweight. It is made from a polycarbon material and kevlar (what they use for bullet proof vests).
My PT is always asking me to "remove the James Bond Attachement".
It is called a toe-off brace and you can find a site online to check it out.
Advancements have come a long way over the years as I had a very cumbersome brace (AFO) as recent as 1995 and so when I went back to the orthotics people for a new one I was very pleased to get something so lightweight and comfortable. I have a lot better stability and I have much improved my gait since wearing it for just over a year now.
I would think by saying they hurt, Amber means that the AFO's make her legs/feet tired and sore, just from the way the AFO's react or fight against her natural movements all day. I wore full leg braces from 5 to 8 and ankle braces from 8 to 11... Knee surgeries at 11 made it possible for me never to wear braces again