AFO – waterproof or at least ones that can get wet

    • September 27, 2011 at 2:53 pm

      My husband was diagnosed earlier this year. Things started the end of January and he declined until mid May. He has been recoverying since that time, but has to wear afo’s. He has recovered to the point where we can get him in a Kayak. He is walking without a cane much of the time. But, as soon as the braces come off, he needs major help.

      I was wondering if anyone out there has some afo’s that they use that can get wet. We are going to go to Florida in November and I am hoping he can hang out by the pool. We don’t want to get his current ones wet due to the padding, but a second pair would be in order here.

      Any ideas would greatly be appreciated?

    • Anonymous
      September 29, 2011 at 7:44 pm

      Yep, plain ole’ plastic, just as gh-cidp has described them.

      I got my first AFO in 1980. I got my first right sided AFO circa 2006.

      As I recall, prior to 2006, no orthotics maker ever offered ‘padding’ for my AFO. Even if they had offered, which they did in 2006, I would decline because.

      Because why? Ugh, my legs sweat. For me it’s a personal comfort and hygiene choice.

      Instead, prior to getting married, I always shopped around and found knee high socks. After I got married and my wife saw what I needed, she bought thigh high lady’s nylon style stockings (not the kind that ‘runs’ when you look at it), cut them to just over knee high on me and resewed them.

      The nylon does several things. It is slippery, my legs slide around easier inside the braces, it protects my skin from rubbing on the plastic (or the padding, if I had any). And, I can change them everyday.

      In addition, the nylon is a little bit stretchy so I can fold it back down over the hook & loop style straps which helps keep them closed and prevents my pants’ legs from hitching on the straps and buckles.

      I also wear a pair of those ankle high sports socks to make the part where the plastic brace meets the bottom and sides of my feet more comfortable. All of this requires a size or size and a half larger 4E shoe.

      At any rate, I could not imagine walking around in water with shoes, or sandals, and braces on. I suppose I’d rather have a walker and walk myself to the water’s edge and then do my water sports thing.

      I hope you guys figure something out for your husband.

      Personally, I’d have the padding removed.

      p.s. speaking of never. No doctor, or P/T ever recommended I get my AFOs refitted. Have your AFOs evaluated periodically in the event muscle loss continues. As gh-cidp stated, AFOs are custom made both as to fit and as to how much support is needed in several key areas.

      p.p.s Medicare will pay (I heard) for new AFOs every two years. Might be a reason for that.

    • Anonymous
      October 2, 2011 at 12:46 am

      I had a very sever case of CIDP back in 2002, but was able to begin walking again in 2004 thanks to my AFOs. I have the standard plastic ones & go to water aerobics twice a week year round here in MN, swim in the lakes all summer long, & we winter down in Florida. I wear my AFOs with a pair of water shoes over them, there is no padding, but the straps do get wet. It is a pain to wipe them dry when I get out of the water & I sometimes get funny looks, but this is the only sport I have left. BTW I will be going down to FL the end of this month for a few weeks, where are you going in FL?

    • October 24, 2011 at 12:37 am

      We are going to Orlando. I have a business seminar there. Trying to figure out what to take. I want to take his wheelchair so we are not limited. He is unsure about that one. I want to go to Epcot to the food and wine festival. I think a wheelchair would be a good idea.

      I got him some folding canes. He is working on walking with two canes without AFO’s. Doing ok. So, I think he will do ok getting into the pool.

      All this started January of this year. He went downhill for about 4 months. Spent 3 1/2 months in a nursing home stuck in bed after he fell and couldn’t walk anymore. He started walking two months after recovery started. He is now walking about 2 miles per day. He has been on the road of recovery for 4 1/2 months. I think he is doing fantastic.

      Any advise on travel and what to take would greatly be appreciated!