AFOs (Ankle foot orthoses)
Ankle Foot Orthoses (AFOs) are common form of orthotics used to treat a wide range of conditions affecting the ankle, foot and lower leg. They are most commonly used to:
- Improve posture
- Prevent or control deformity
- Stabilise the joints within the ankle and foot
- Reduce pain
- Reduce the risk of trips, falls and injuries
- Assist weak muscles
They can also be used to control or reduce unwanted movements which can be caused by muscle or nerve impairments, imbalances or altered muscle tone.
There is a wide range of AFOs available depending on your requirements including:
These are rigid devices which hold the foot and ankle in the required position and allow no movement. This can help to increase the base of stability, control deformities or prevent unwanted movements.
This is similar to a solid AFO however has a simple hinge either side of the ankle consequently allowing movement. The movement allowed is adjusted depending on requirements and can be restricted to prevent movement in specific directions.
Supramalleolar and Dynamic AFOS (SMOs and DAFOs)
SMOs and DAFOs are shorter AFOs finishing just above the ankle. They are also more flexible in nature, this makes them more suited to aiding, correcting or controlling mild instabilities or deformities. They are often used if the use of insoles have not provided enough support to the foot and ankle.
Other AFOs available include lycra socks (find more information on our lycra service page) and adaptations to footwear (more information available here).
AFOs are often custom made, although there are some off the shelf devices which may be suitable. To ensure the perfect AFO is designed for you our experienced orthotists will work with you to complete a thorough assessment and will discuss your requirements, then if required a cast or scan will be taken. This will then be used to create your orthoses. Our team will provide you with full wear instructions and provide you with advice and guidance about when and how to wear your AFO.