AnonymousNovember 6, 2007 at 3:38 pm
First, thanks to all of you who replied to my first post. Questions come up as I consider new developments or think about the general condition.
In the next few weeks I am supposed to be fitted for AFOs. They will be made of carbon. The person putting them on tells me that he will have to see me walk in them to decide whether they are what is best for me and then confer with my doctor.
Would anyone of you with experience with AFOs share that experience with me? For example were they of benefit to you and how? How weak or strong were you at that time? Problems? Difficulties? Cautionary tales? Any story will be of interest.
You know all through my hospital and rehab stay people would tell me, as if a mantra, that we are all different, and then treat me as if we are all the same. As I read the posts, I do realize all our differences, but what we have in common too. We know this to be true more than any hospital staff I encountered.
AnonymousNovember 6, 2007 at 9:33 pm
I wish I could help you Daniel but I am just getting fitted for mine. Mine will be plastic with no hinges and come from where my toes start on my foot to almost my knee. I have slight drop foot but get very weak after walking distance…to the point of feeling like I cant take another step without falling flat out.
I’m only getting one but told the other will come soon b/c of the weakness. I dont want any…but, I’m going to try it.
I’m sure others will come along with their great advice or you can read my other post about visiting a physiatrist and AFO’s. I’ve gotten alot of replys that are very helpful.
I also was recommended to an internet site but first am doing what my insurance will pay for.
AnonymousNovember 24, 2007 at 9:51 am
I have been using AFOs on both for about a year now. As you say, all our stories are different, but I can tell you that the AFOs have helped me tremendously. The type I have use a hinged spring at the ankle which overcome the severe footdrop that I have in both feet. My PT explained that if I tried to practice and relearn how to walk without the AFOs I would end up sort of marching all the time as I raised my legs very high in order to clear my feet with each step. Also, this akward walking is both tiring and dangerous.
Under pants, except for the occasional squek, no one can tell you are wearing them.
One inconvenience is that I have been restricted to only wearing sneakers since other shoes or boots won’t open enough to let you put in the AFOs. Not a big deal, and since I am not working at the moment sneakers are ususally fine.
I also make sure to walk at home everday without the AFOs in order to exercise parts of the foot and calf that are somewhat immobilzed by the AFOs.
My PT says that I may always need the AFOs, we’ll see. I hated using them and hated needing to use the AFOs in the beginning, but improved mobility is a good thing.
AnonymousNovember 25, 2007 at 2:42 am
If you go into search and put in AFO’s you will see and hear some of our stories and experiences. I posted a picture of mine because they are really pretty! At least for me. Anyway, I am still getting used to them physically and emotionally. The thing that helps me the most is the idea that they provide safety and conserve energy so you can do things longer on your feet. Even though I can still walk on my own, the AFO’s do give me better control, endurance and stability. I would suggest ones that are made to fit rather than over the internet. Just my opinion. Good luck.
AnonymousNovember 30, 2007 at 3:49 am
I had to have AFO’s. They were plastic ones that went from my toes to just behind my knees and I secured them with two velcro fasteners at the front. I had major foot drop and when I was given them it was at the point that I was starting to initiate walking on my own with supervision with the parallel bars and later when I was on my crutches. My Consultant gave them to me for two reasons, firstly, they were good in that they enabled me to concentrate on trying to walk as normally as possible to get my legs and muscles working properly again and not worry about falling and tripping over and, secondly, to get my feet back into the position they should be so the nerves and muscles would hopefully trigger that’s where my foot position should be. They really help boost your overall confidence in your ability and as Linda pointed out good for stability and control. In the end I was walking around with my A.F.O’s without any other aids so under your jeans or sweatpants you can’t actually tell you’ve got anything on so it’s nice to get out and about in the real world and feel as normal as you can be at that stage of your recovery. End result, my foot drop improved to the point that I could ditch them and I haven’t had to go back to them since. Good luck with yours and I hope this helps you in some way. Keep smiling, tomorrow’s another day 🙂
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