ANKLE-FOOT ORTHOSES(AFOs) are a commonly prescribed lower limb orthoses that are made to support your foot, ankle and leg. AFOs are often prescribed in order to manage a variety of lower limb conditions such as joint instability, high muscle tone and muscle weakness and are designed to control alignment, increase mobility and independence, assist in rehabilitation, help reduce pain as well prevent deformities from occurring.
AFOs are typically designed to control the alignment of your foot and ankle and to keep it in a neutral and safe position, whilst preventing your toes from dragging on the floor (avoid tripping). We are highly experienced in both traditional AFO management pre-preg AFO management for our patients.
CUSTOM-MADE PRE-PREG ORTHOSES
WE have been using pre-preg carbon for our custom made AFOs and KAFOs for nearly ten years. Whilst not for every patient. Pre-preg when used correctly provides a light weight, thin, energy returning orthoses option for our patients.
COMING from automobile and aviation industries, pre-preg carbon fibre is becoming widely recognized as a superb material in orthopedics due to the excellent physical characteristics, elevating the final product to the currently unsurpassable level of functionality and comfort. Furthermore, carbon fibre products have much higher fatigue limits than those made of other materials, i.e. their properties are diminishing much less during the wear. Consequently, the orthoses are more durable and stay functional significantly longer, providing maximum assistance for the patient.
TODAY, our custom-made carbon fibre orthoses are already well-known because of their quality. The whole range of lower limb orthoses are available in pre-preg: FOs (Foot Orthosis), AFOs (Ankle Foot Orthosis), KOs (Knee Orthosis), and complicated KAFOs (Knee Ankle Foot Orthosis).
COMPARING with foot orthoses from traditional materials, advantages of our custom-made pre-preg carbon fibre orthoses are remarkable:
COMBINING two types of carbon fibres in different layout patterns, almost any shape can be realized and flexion characteristics obtained. The final product provides required stiffness, while staying thin enough to fit into everyday shoes.
CARBON FIBRE products have much higher fatigue limits than other materials, i.e. their mechanical properties are reducing less during continued cyclic loading and the products are significantly more durable and stay functional significantly longer.
UTILIZING the pre-preg technology, the weight of the product can be minimized without making any compromises on physical properties of orthosis. Due to the lightness, the orthosis feels natural and the patient does not face discomfort by wearing it.
ALL ORTHOSES are produced fully individually, based on the measurements, scan or mold captured by our clinicians. The clinician customizes the shape of each orthosis. This way the 100% fit of the final product to the patient’s foot and maximum assist to the patient can be ensured.
ANOTHER Big advantage of this technology is possibility to compound the carbon fibres with other materials. This allows us to produce more complicated orthoses that features knee and/or ankle joints from titanium.
What is really special about our pre-preg products: they have attractively nice finish that requires real craftsmanship.
WHEN WE receive a digital patient’s data, the scan imported into CAD/CAM systems for mold modeling and later milling by to the CNC 3-axis machine. This modern technology cut the products delivery time.
Traditional AFOs are made using metal uprights with leather covered band or from plastic. We know some of our AFO patients whom have worn AFOs for years get use to a particular style of bracing which works for them.
WE have over 20 years of experience in AFO management so we understand your requests and needs. Please contact us on (03) 9898 3440 to discuss your management needs further.
IMPORTANT PROTOCOLS TO FOLLOW FOR NEW AFO USERS
• When first putting on your AFO, always make sure your heel is down and back into the heel of the AFO for best fit. Once this is done, fasten your calf strap firmly and securely.
• Your AFO should always be worn with appropriate fitting shoes.
• Your AFO should always be worn with a pair of knee high cotton socks or tights for extra comfort and protection from rubbing. NOTE: Do not wear socks with wrinkles or excessive amounts of texture to them as these types of socks may cause pressure marks.
• For your safety, we would like you to wear in the AFO slowly and gradually – do not wear the AFO full time for the first few days in order for you to get used to them and to gain confidence in them. We advise that you wear them for 1-2 hours a day for the first few days until you can walk comfortably and safely in them.
IMPORTANT: We are advising you to adhere to this plan in order to maintain your safety, as you have never walked in an AFO before, and we believe that this would be the safest way for you to ease into the AFO and to build your confidence in them.
• When you begin to wear your AFO for longer periods of time, you are advised to check your leg hourly for the first 2-3 days for any signs of pressure areas on your skin that may have been caused by your new AFO. Inspect your leg for any unwanted signs of pressure/rubbing that could lead to skin breakdown (e.g., redness, unfamiliar marks, etc.)
• Once your AFO is being worn full-time, please continue to check your skin regularly each day (3-4 times a day minimum) for any signs of pressure areas that may have been caused by your AFO.
• Regular reviews are mandatory and are scheduled for the first 2-3 weeks by your orthotist in order to make sure that the AFO is safe and that it is accomplishing its intended aims.
• Please adhere to the treatment plans provided by your managing clinicians.
• Contact us for an appointment if you encounter any discomfort or pressure issues associated with the AFO.
WE encourage all patients to adhere to these protocols in order to ensure that they are safe and that the AFO is achieving their intended prescription aims. Non-compliance with these protocols may lead to complications such as skin breakdown or falls.