My name is Keon Mansoori and I was only a baby when my dad started AOI in 1983. Now, more than thirty years later, I work alongside my dad, his brothers, and my brother to bring prosthetic and orthotic solutions to clients of all ages. We are a true family business with traditional family values, dedicated to treating our customers like family.
I have been in the orthotic and prosthetic business since I was born. When I was a baby, the brace manufacturing shop was located in the garage of our family home. I slept directly above the garage, which was also located above the second-hand propane oven my dad and uncles built to craft orthotic braces. I have had the opportunity to watch and learn a thing or two in the family business over the years and I want to use this blog as a way to pass on advice and anecdotal stories to help people use their braces or prosthetics effectively and comfortably.
Ankle Foot Orthosis
Today I want to discuss AFO
– otherwise known as Ankle Foot Orthosis. AFO represents a broad category of devices and can cover anything from a simple brace which runs along the back of the calf and underneath the foot to a larger device including ankle joints or additional features. However, the problems you may encounter and the tips for use with each device remain generally the same.
For example, if an area on your leg or foot is being rubbed raw due to direct contact with your orthotic, do not pad the area as a permanent solution. While you may be able to pad the irritated area and get momentary relief, the underlying problem will still remain. It is important to come back in and see your orthotic provider for a brace adjustment or the problem will persist.
Most simple device adjustments come at no cost to you. We do not encounter many issues with AFO devices a most of them are custom molded to your leg. However, one of the more prominent issues we see with AFO devices is their fit within the shoe. Most people have not spent their lives buying shoes thinking “Man, I hope there is enough room in these shoes for a brace someday.” As such, you may need to find ways to make room in the shoes your are currently using to make sure they work with your AFO.
One easy way to make more room in your footwear is to remove the inlay in the bottom of the inside of the shoe. This may make enough of a difference to make sliding your AFO device into your shoe work smoothly. This can also ensure there is not too much height difference between the leg with a brace and the leg which is brace-free.
Keep this in mind: Over the years the shape of your leg may change. You may gain or lose weight, causing your brace to need readjustment. Many of problems with your AOF device can be resolved by stopping into one of the multiple AOI provider locations for an adjustment which will likely cost you nothing. At Advanced OrthoPro, we provide a number of different styles and types of AFOs to our patients. Each style has its own tricks and advice for use. For instance, we highly recommend getting practice in with your brace. Everyone needs to find their own way to best use their AOF device, as each piece is custom built for their needs.
If you ever have any need for help or advice, come by and see us at one of our locations.