How to put on your AFO:
- Apply a long sock on the foot needing the brace.
- Loosen the laces/Velcro closures on the brace.
- Slide foot into the orthosis as if you were putting on a pair of boots.
- Make sure heel is all the way back and foot is fully seated in the brace.
- Begin at the foot, secure the laces/Velcro straps followed by the laces/Velcro straps on the shin. Make sure to pull all the Velcro straps snug.
- Loosen the laces/Velcro on the shoe to allow for the brace to slide easily into the shoe.
- A shoe horn can be used to ease in this process as well as prevent breakdown of the back of the shoe.
- Once brace is in the shoe, securely fasten laces/Velcro.
Just like a new pair of shoes, an AFO has a breaking in period. Use the following wearing guidelines to allow the body to adapt to the use of the brace gradually.
Day 1: Only use brace for one hour.
Day 2: Use brace for two hours.
Day 3: Use brace for four hours.
Day 4: Use brace for eight hours.
Continue to use brace as prescribed by your Orthotist for full day use.
There may be some slight redness on the instep, across the top of the foot from snugness of the laces, the on the sides of the little toe or big toe. If redness doesn’t disappear within 20 minutes, do not put the brace back on. Please contact your Ability Orthotist to schedule an appointment for an adjustment.
Remember that shoes are an integral part to any AFO brace. The shoe becomes an extension of the AFO and provides proper support for the brace.
Cleaning and Maintenance:
- The best way to clean an AFO is wipe with a damp cloth.
- Shoe fresheners can be used to remove a smell from the brace.
- If the Velcro is not sticking well on the brace, check for lint build-up on the Velcro and remove it.
- If brace doesn’t fit into shoe –
- Check to see if the heel is all the way to the back of the AFO.
- Check if the back of the shoe is crushed, causing the AFO to hang up.
- Check if the insole of the shoe has been removed to accommodate for the AFO.
- Proper footwear should be worn at all times with the brace and on the opposite foot.
- Never wear brace without shoes.
- Do not over use brace during the initial wearing phase. This can cause skin irritation.
- Be aware that volume changes in the body can affect how the AFO will fit.
- Do NOT ever sleep in the AFO.
- Be aware that changing shoe styles can affect your standing/walking balance. This may cause you to fall unexpectedly.