Ankle foot orthotics (AFOs) are simple and yet revolutionary. They help improve movement for people everyday who suffer from a wide variety of conditions and impairments, and are instrumental in ensuring greater mobility.
To be effective, ankle foot orthotics need to be adjusted frequently and tended to with care. They need to be properly cleaned as well. Here is more information on AFOs, including how to care for them.
What Are Ankle Foot Orthotics?
Orthotics help improve the efficiency and functionality of joints as well as increase stabilization. Ankle foot orthotics are custom designed to stabilize weak muscles and help reduce pain in joints.
Typically, the orthoses are braces that surround the ankle and foot. They are L-shaped, made of metal and/or thermoplastic. They help control the movement of the foot and ankle and adjust for development.
How to Use and Care For Your Ankle Foot Orthotic
The best way to wear your ankle foot orthotic is by wearing a shoe with laces. Try using a shoehorn if you are having trouble putting it in your shoe. Wear a size that allows for the AFO to fit in comfortably. Wearing a long sock can help.
Make sure your skin is clean and dry when you put the brace on, but know that sweat is normal. Wearing athletic socks can help with sweating.
Putting on your ankle foot orthotic can feel awkward and uncomfortable at first, so check often for pressure points, red spots, and sores. Always contact your doctor or therapist immediately if you feel pain or if you notice any blisters or marks that do not go away. If you have grown, check that the brace still fits. If your foot has grown or the brace is too snug, take your orthotic in to a specialist. A minor adjustment may be necessary.
Beyond adjustments and fit which should be tended to by a professional, caring for your brace is relatively simple.
Cleaning your brace is important. Use a little soap and a damp wash cloth. Clean the thermoplastic sections at least once a week and lubricate the metal joints when necessary. Allow the brace to air dry or towel try. Do not put it in a drying machine unless you have asked your doctor if that is okay. Often the padding, metal, and plastic found in ankle foot orthotics should not come in contact with intense heat.
It is very important to attend your follow-up appointments and heed all instructions from your specialist.
Let the Experts at BioTech Help Today
Read more about the proper care for your ankle foot orthotic at BioTech Limb and Brace. Let our experts design a brace that will improve your functionality and efficiency while still providing you with utmost comfort. We specialize in custom prosthetics and orthotics and are here to offer the support you need.
Contact us today to make an appointment.