Why a custom articulating AFO is used for this pathology: Western Carolina O&P designs and fabricates this highly specialized AFO tailored for this pathology with or with/out a plantar flexion contracture. Our practitioners start with a comprehensive foot and ankle evaluation of the mechanical and fitting perimeters, and once defined, a design plan for the custom AFO is established. A negative mold impression, or digital scan is taken of the patient affected lower extremity so a custom AFO can be fabricated. Western Carolina O&P, with our state of-the-art fabrication lab, produces a structural supportive and comfortable device to support the proper foot structures, maximize foot and ankle alignment and provide a means for alignment correction over time. This custom fabricate AFO is designed to be light weight and strong. It is intended for patients with severe angular deformities, such as equino-varus and plantar flexion contractures. Articulating AFO’s that provide dynamic ROM and the ability to be adjusted for low load long duration stretch can significantly reduce contracture and provide patients with a stable base of support for ambulation and rehabilitation. This not only helps the patient with increased safe ambulation, but also helps to relieve upper kinetic chain joint forces and improve their ambulatory status.
Orthotic specific design consideration: This custom AFO is designed and fabricated with a carbon fiber frame with semi-flexible plastic total contact foot plate. Because the AFO is built from a modified positive mold of the patients’ lower extremity, alignment parameters can be corrected while a total contact device is produced. The total contact fit and use of high misalignment HEIM joints at the ankle allow for a very comfortable and function fit. This type of AFO can also use a turn buckle device to control positioning and provide for active low load stretching. Due the wide range of adjustability of this type of AFO, each patient’s specifics bio mechanical needs can be accommodated.
Rx: consideration: On our AFO orthotic specific Rx sheet for physicians, please mark for “CUSTOM ARTICULATING POSITIONAL AFO” and the specific Dx. Once we have seen and evaluated the patient we will request your face to face progress note and send a CMN for signature and date.