I just got fitted with a Walk Aid AFO. My left foot has no feeling, hence the need for an aid. I can't get my foot in my shoe by myself with the aid. Am I missing something that is so obvious no one thinks to tell you about it? I am so frustrated right now, I just want to throw the darned thing (note, I am thinking much more colorful adjectives other than darned, heck, a few nouns and verb as well!) across the room. Hubby helps me get it on, but what do I do when he is not home? What is the point if I can't get it on myself? I have 4 different pairs or shoes it fits in, I can't get any on myself with the AFO, including the pair of New Balance tennies that the initial fit was with. Yes, I am using a shoe horn to try. Help!!!
I definitely can sympathize and feel your pain. I have an AFO too and had to buy NB running shoe a full 2 sizes larger to accommodate the orthotics. My feet swell so much and this may be why it I had to get such a larger size. New Balance running shoe in a wide width was recommended by the orthotic tech but I think NB does run a bit small. I got a running shoe but would not recommend getting it with a lug sole. Mine seem to impede my walking ability when the ground is not entirely flat. It seems like I am forever searching for that perfect shoe. Have you tried to put the AFO in the shoe first and then put your foot in the shoe? This is the only way I can get the AFO on. It is also easier to take it off by leaving the AFO in the shoe and pushing the AFO away from the top. I hope this helps.
Hello all, I recommend that you try a TOE-Off AFO by Allard. Check it out on their web site. It easily fits within most shoes by simply removing the inner pad on the affected side. So NO MORE buying 2 different sized shoes, and it is possible to wear light weight flat shoes again! Check it out, you won't be disappointed! I am an OT and believe me this is easier than messing w/all those other adaptive devices!! Good luck, Leslie
Definitely try putting it in your shoe first and keep the laces of your shoe wide open and loose. Once it is in, just slip your foot in and adjust. Like Karenlynn said, leaving it in is handy too. It becomes like a long shoe, lol to slip on and off. The key is just having everything loose and open and then tightening. The shoehorn never worked for me.
Hi Leslie, I checked out the toe-off and it looked very cool. But, listed as a contraindication is loss of skin sensitivity, I think a pretty common problem in MS footdrop.
I already broke my hinged/articulated AFO twice (now I have it so it is sturdier, lol) and this type is much stronger than the toe-off so I would definitely be one of the patients to break the toe off repeatedly!
Mine is padded so that there will not be skin damage because I can't feel a sore start. But this type of brace is useful for stairs and bending.
Hi Deb, The manner in which the two AFO'S work is completely different. The Toe-Off provides input on the shin side of your leg which places your weight shift in the foward plane and facilitates a smoother toe-off gait pattern. The more traditional AFO that you have provides input to the calf side and does not pro vide for as dynamic a movement pattern. The Toe-Off is very strong/light and is made of carbon fiber and kevlar. Is the reason that you are breaking the AFO'S related to spasticity? I use Baclofen to decrease spasticity (10 mg every three hours) which really helps to manage this. I too have decreased sensitivity, to my right foot and I am able to use the Toe-Off with no problem. Thanks for sharing! Leslie
Thank you all so much for your responses. I am using a Walk On, my neuro prescribed a low profile carbon AFO so I was referred to a rehab hospital to get one fitted. Is this something that requires fitting? I didn't realize I might have a choice on them. Since I have insurance, I guess I just felt I had to get what was recommended for insurance to pay. How much do AFO's cost if you are paying? I saw some when I did a search but didn't consider anything not recommended by a medical professional. I am new to this part of my medical care so please have patience for my questions that I am sure must be no-brainers for those of you who have been dealing with this for a while. My AFO is made of metal so there is no give at all. Gertting in and out of a car gracefully is no longer possible. We bought one of the real long shoe horns but I just can't seem to manage to use it to successfully get my shoe on "all by myself". This whole thing has been awful because I have happily been getting by in my state of denial and didn't realize how much help with daily living I have needed. On the good side: it doesn't require different shoe sizes and I can wear regular shoes. I have found decent looking styles one with Dr. Scholls and Sketchers. I got to do some shoe shopping the info on this site has been WONDERFUL...thank you all so much!
I do have spasticity for which I take Baclofen, but I broke it because I am very active and went a little overboard once I was no longer tripping over my foot! It has held up now with reinforcement since May. My brace is good because of the hinge. I was told that because of that, my muscles will not atrophy, they are able to have motion and the ones that are weak can move as much as they are able, which gives them a workout.
What I read is that a contraindication for the toe off was numbness and both of my legs are very numb. I cannot feel pressure or sharp stuff on my right side where I have the brace. I also read that it tends to break for 50% of people, the other 50% do well with it. That is what I meant about it probably not being good for me!
It sounds like it would be a really great option for some people though. Especially it would be nice because it is so light.
By the way, I heard there is some kind of foot drop brace suitable for running? Do you know what it is called? I cannot find it when I google it but I heard of it earlier this year. It doesn't look like the toe off though.
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