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Pain Reduction AFO Alternatives

This was a great example of how a patient’s goal can be met with multiple designs types, each with their variable pros and cons.
— Emma Glofcheski, B.S.c Clinical Student

The primary goal for this particular patient was to prevent pain while walking, the result of a sustained crush injury. To achieve this we needed to reduce how much his ankle bent in later phases of gait.

This primary goal could be achieved by both the old device (anterior drape orthosis) and the new device (ESR Orthosis). The old device had a rigid/immediate stop preventing the ankle from bending while the ESR had a flexible/gradual stop as a result of some flexibility provided by the plastic strut. Both sufficiently limited pain experienced while walking by limiting how much the ankle bent.

Additional differences between the devices include; ease of driving, ease of donning, smooth walking pattern, bulk and potentially walking endurance. 

Assessment tools used in evaluation of devices include: 

  1. The Foot & Ankle Disability Index (FADI) Score

  2. 6 Minute Walk Test