Wright & Filippis - Rehabilitative Health Care
Wear and Care of Ankle Braces

Plastic Ankle Braces

Plastic Ankle BracesIn the Beginning:  Use a walker, cane, or have someone with you when you start because the orthosis may affect your balance.  Consult with your physician to determine if physical therapy is required.

Wear Schedule:  Gradually increase the wear of your new orthosis.  At first, wear it for one hour, then take it off.  Remove your sock and check for redness you may not feel.  All redness should go away within 30 minutes.  If it does, reapply for two hours and inspect the skin again.  Reapply the orthosis and wear it for a longer time period, inspecting the skin afterwards.  You should be using the orthosis full time within one week.

Your Shoe:  A laced style oxford or tennis shoe is the ideal shoe to wear with this orthosis.  The shoe must be laced to hold your foot securely in position.  If the shoe is too large and not snug on your foot, the AFO will not work well.  Do not change heel heights.  A higher heel will throw you forward and a lower heel will throw you back.

Pain/Redness:  If you feel pain or see persistent redness, make sure your shoe laces are snug and the shoe is appropriate.  Call immediately for any adjustment.    Do not let redness turn into a blister!

Your Sock:  Always wear a clean acrylic sock that comes higher than the top of the orthosis.  This provides an air layer between the leg and plastic to protect the skin.

Two Orthoses:  If you have two orthoses, you can tell the right from the left by checking for the arches of the foot.

Cleaning: Wash with mild soap and water.  Do not use heat.  Using a toothpick or safety pin will keep your velcro strap free from lint.


Metal Ankle Braces

Metal Ankle BracesPurpose:  This orthosis is designed to control your ankle, foot, and sometimes your knee.  Some joints may be free motion, limited motion or locked.  The orthosis controls the joint that it crosses.  Your types of joints were specifically chosen for your individual condition. 

Wearing the AFO:  When putting the AFO on in a seated position, carefully sit on the edge of the seat to allow the calf section to slide under your calf.  Place foot in shoe.  Fasten shoe and straps of orthosis.  Make sure that your foot is firmly seated in the shoe or heel cup.

Wear Schedule:  Gradually increase the wear of your new orthosis to get accustomed to the new forces placed on your leg.  In the beginning wear it for a short period of time and take it off.  Remove your sock and check for redness you may not feel.  All redness should go away within 30 minutes.  If it does, reapply for two hours and inspect the skin again.  Reapply the orthosis and wear it for a longer time period, inspecting the skin afterwards.  You should be using the orthosis full time within one week. 

Cleaning:  A metal and leather orthosis may need saddle soap to clean the leather.  Usually the ankle joints do not need lubrication.  If necessary, you can use a dry spray lubricant, like silicone.


Ankle Foot Gauntlet

Ankle Foot GauntletWearing your Ankle Foot Gauntlet:  When putting the AFO on in a seated position, open the laces or Velcro closure, slide your foot into the bottom of the device, placing the heel firmly into the molded area.  Lace or Velcro the orthosis closed to a comfortable pressure.

Wear Schedule:  Gradually increase the wear of your new orthosis.  At first, wear it for one hour, then take it off.  Remove your sock and check for redness you may not feel.  All redness should go away within 30 minutes.  If it does, reapply for two hours and inspect the skin again.  Reapply the orthosis and wear it for a longer time period, inspecting the skin afterwards.  You should be using the orthosis full time within one week.

Cleaning:  A leather orthosis may need saddle soap to clean the leather.  Wash with mild soap and water.  Do not use heat.  Using a toothpick or safety pin will keep your Velcro strap free from lint.

 




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