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External Fixator Bracewear: AFO

External Fixator Bracewear: AFO

Overivew of Ankle-Foot- Othosis from Shriners Hospitals for Children - St. Louis.
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Speaker 1:

Your child may be provided with an AFO, or Ankle-Foot-Orthosis. AFO recommendations are made by the medical team based on several factors in your child's case, such as pre-existing ankle stiffness or ankle instability. The purpose of the AFO is to prevent excessive tightening in the heel cord or Achilles tendon.

In order for an AFO to work effectively, it must be properly applied and worn consistently. Start by placing a clean sock on the foot. Gently glide the shaft of the AFO upward along your child's leg, between the lower rings of the frame and the skin. Slight maneuvering of the AFO may be required in order to move past the lower pins or wires on the frame. Once the ball of the foot has made contact with the foot bed of the brace, continue slowly but firmly pushing upward until the brace will move no further. Check to make sure the heel bone is seated completely down in the brace. Hold in position while strapping firmly in place.

A new brace will require frequent skin checks throughout the day. Be sure to let a hospital care provider know of any pressure areas, blisters, or discomfort from the brace. Our team of orthotists are available to assess the fit and make modifications as needed to improve comfort. AFOs are generally worn full-time throughout the course of external fixation. An AFO may be removed for bathing, swimming, home exercises, and physical therapy sessions.