Orthopedic foot braces, also known as ankle-foot orthoses or AFOs is a type of brace that serves the function of controlling and supporting the position and motion of the ankle, supplement muscle weakness, and correct deformities as well. Typically made of plastic and versatile in treating many me2:11 PM 12/17/2011dical conditions on the muscle function of the foot area. These common conditions include but are not limited to spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, polio, stroke, muscular dystrophy, peripheral neuropathy, and multiple sclerosis. Additionally, orthopedic foot braces can also be utilized to restrict foot movement after an injury as well as to correct foot-drop.
There are several kinds of orthopedic foot braces that are used depending on the needs of the patient. The solid ankle-foot orthosis is a type of orthopedic foot brace. It is the most essential and regularly used orthopedic foot braces as it has a flexible fit and has a sufficient structure for walking and shaping the foot against deformity. However, this type of orthosis is not suitable for use of some people that have a unique kind of posture.
The hinged ankle-foot orthosis is another type of orthopedic foot braces. As the name suggests, this orthosis has a hinge as compared to the solid AFO which allows a certain degree of mobility that isn’t restricted. A hinged AFO is suited for people who are already recovering from an injury or condition and must have mobility and strenght regained.
A special type of orthopedic foot braces is known as a spiral ankle-foot orthosis. It has a spiral support structure that allows for a better flexibility while still limiting and encouraging motion in a preferred direction. This type of orthosis is most preferable for use of people who lose balance when wearing stiff braces. However, these kinds of orthosis is very difficult to make as well as adjust due to its shape.
What has been discussed are just the typical types of orthopedic foot braces as there are more specially designed types that are ideal for specific conditions. Therefore if you require one, the first step is consulting a specialist and discuss your options which of these orthopedic foot braces are the most appropriate for your condition.