Foot Drop Orthotics
If you're prone to foot drop, you can use foot drop orthotics to correct this condition.
Ankle-foot orthoses are external biomechanical devices that help stabilize the joints of the lower limbs and prevent foot deformities. They also increase foot clearance and reduce the likelihood of falling. They are made of high-temperature thermoplastic and are often worn by patients who suffer from poor muscle tone or weakness. Ankle-foot orthoses are a good solution for a number of foot and ankle conditions.
Articulated Ankle Joint
A good AFO Foot Drop Orthotics should have an articulated ankle joint and provide initial angle adjustment. It should also produce a resistive moment during plantarflexion. The resistance should range from five to twenty Nm per 10deg plantarflexion. The resistive moment required is five times higher during the swing phase of gait than during the loading response.
Benefits of Ankle-Foot Orthoses
Research has shown that ankle-foot orthoses improve gait, allowing patients to walk more efficiently and symmetrically. People with cerebral palsy, for instance, often wear these devices to minimize calf muscle contractures. Other benefits of ankle-foot orthoses include improving dynamic efficiency of gait, improving stance phase stability, and facilitating swing phase clearance. However, a recent systematic review found that most studies of the effects of AFOs on gait were not randomized and were not blinded.
Nerve stimulators for foot drop orthotics are devices that use electrical pulses to elicit a response in targeted muscles. A trained clinician places the electrodes on the lower leg muscles. The electrodes are inactive when the heel hits the ground, but become active when the heel is lifted. This elicits leg muscle recruitment and prevents foot drop.
Fabric braces for foot drop orthotics are available in a variety of designs. Some are more comfortable than others, but they are available in many styles. A great choice for people with foot drop is the AliMed Swedish AFO Brace. This brace supports the foot in the correct position and helps avoid calcaneus irritation. It has an open heel for optimal flexibility and a low-arch design for a low profile. A padded hook-and-loop strap helps secure the brace on the foot.