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Everything You Need to Know About Custom Braces

If you are among the thousands of individuals who currently live with a debilitating lower-leg condition, you may want to consider a custom AFO brace. A custom brace provides unique and fully customizable support that will help strengthen muscles and increase mobility over time.

It is not necessary to live with many of the frustrations that come from foot and ankle problems. Custom braces can benefit anyone suffering from:

  • Foot drop

  • Collapsing arch

  • Balance issues

  • Amputation

  • Diabetic ulcers

  • Neuropathy

  • Arthritis

  • Anyone that is at risk of developing a debilitating lower leg and foot condition.

Custom braces can be customized with certain functions such as our BOSS Braces that reduce the catching of the toe during swing phase of gait.

What exactly is a Custom AFO Brace?

AFO stands for Ankle-Foot-Orthoses. A custom-made brace acts as an external skeleton that helps hold the foot and ankle in a properly aligned position. This promotes a proper gait and balanced weight distribution throughout the lower leg and foot.

Whereas a custom orthotic only affects the bottom of the foot where it meets the ground, a custom AFO brace will extend the control up through the ankle joint and into the lower leg for better support and alignment correction.

Earlier models of custom braces were bulky and often unsightly. It was hard to get patient compliance and wear braces. However, thanks to advances in technology, patients are now able to wear custom braces with little to no modification of footwear.

What do Custom AFO Braces do?

Pain often comes from walking step after step on misaligned bones, ligaments, and tendons within the foot and ankle. With each step, force is delivered to the misaligned foot and ankle that continually grinds and sways. This can wreak havoc to the body.

A pain-free gait comes from properly aligned feet and ankles. Fluid mechanical movement is natural and much easier once the ankle and foot are properly aligned. Once aligned, the bones, ligaments, and tendons within the foot and ankle are free to bend and sway smoothly with less pain.

A custom brace is 100% custom made for each individual patient. These are superior to off-the-shelf braces that do not accommodate the unique shape and movement of an individual's foot and lower leg. A prescribed custom brace will improve their gait, mobility and overall health.

Patients using custom braces experience more comfort, mobility, as well as less pain and swelling in their foot and ankle.

What is an Orthotist?

Every Forward Motion custom brace is constructed by a certified orthotist. An orthotist is a highly trained medical professional with a master’s degree in bio-mechanics and the functionality of the entire body.

Orthotist are not only trained extensively in the correct movement of a healthy body, but also on how to use custom made devices and braces to correct miss-alignment or injury. A certified orthotist is an expert in brace materials and effective fitting methods that have been proven to work.

State-of-the-art Technology

A complete 3D scan of the leg is used to digitally copy an exact replica of the foot and lower leg. This leg is then molded out of a specialty foam. Next, a variety of high-quality materials are used to create a brace that will deliver the desired position and support based on a doctor's directions.

Thanks to continued research and development no one is STUCK with the standard or basic styles of braces on the market! Now there is a wide variety of braces and styles to choose from depending on individual patient needs, preferences and lifestyle.

A doctor could recommend step or balance-assist AFO braces to prevent fall risks, or flexible hinged options to increase mobility. The possibilities are endless!

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