What is it like to wear afo braces — Scope | Disability forum
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What is it like to wear afo braces

jr0819 Member Posts: 3
im looking to get some information and hope someone can help, Im 31yrs old just found out i have to get and afo brace for my ankle instability due to numerous ankle injuries, also its to correct my foot posture as my foot turns out wards when i walk. I would like to know what it's like wearing an afo and what to expect from wearing it .(i.e. Is it hard to adjust to wearing it, how does it feel) if i could get some feed back that would be great thanks


  • Noah
    Noah Member Posts: 423 Pioneering
    edited October 2015
    To start with wearing afo's can feel strange, it will take possibly 3 months or so for your body to adapt, my advice is persever, no pain, no gain! If they manage to correct your foot position you achieve an improved heal strick, then you will find that they help you loads, and give you much more stability. Make sure they are hinged and you have shoes/boots that are not too high so the hinge is able to it job correctly. Also try and get them to consider carbon fibre afo's as it's lighter and they can be made smaller so you may not need a larger shoe size which can sometimes cause a problem.

    Please let me know how you get on with this, as opthotics is something I'm very interested in. I have also writen quite a few other posts on this subject, which you may find helpful.

    All the very best

  • Stayce
    Stayce Member Posts: 748 Pioneering
    edited October 2015
    My foot also turns outwards and plastic AFOs have not been successful for me. This is not to say it won't be successful for you, I found them too painful and they compromised my skin integrity. I would suggest you try it, but bear in mind there are other splinting options on the market if you find that you cannot get on with them, such as lycra splints and SAFOs. If you need any further help get in touch.

    Best wishes
  • jr0819
    jr0819 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for the info Noah I got castes today for my afo it's polypropylene and its hinged, I got it for my ankle issues and to keep my foot strait. Going to be interesting wearing it anymore advice wearing it? Do I have to wear it full time even when I'm not wearing shoes as well you think
  • I used to wear as child and didn't like wearing them but over the last 2 years have had surgery on my legs and now have to wear them all the time or i can't walk at all only thing I really find annoying is the size difference I'm normally a size 4 now need 6 eee and they not easy to find but my afos are very comfortable
  • jr0819
    jr0819 Member Posts: 3
    edited November 2016
    Well I have had my afo brace for a year now wear it all the time but I have noticed over the year that my calf has gotten smaller and weaker same with my ankle it has gotten weaker tried going with out the brace for a day and it wasn't a good idea lol, is it normal for this to happen 
  • Noah
    Noah Member Posts: 423 Pioneering
    Thanks for giving us some feedback @jr0819

    What you are describing is a very common side effect of wearing AFO's, this can often be overcome though by getting your orthodist to cut windows in the back of your AFO's to allow the calf muscles to fire. 

    I would recommend talking to orthodist about your concerns, it may also be worth asking if they feel wearing a compression sock would help you.

    Please let me know how you get on, and feel free to ask anymore questions


  • JanetZ
    JanetZ Member Posts: 2 Listener
    I just picked up my AFO brace today. A lot of tears flowed down my face because of it. I know it's a device to help you get better but it's an adjustmen . Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 
    Like how to get used to it better
    Does anyone wear short socks with theres
    Shoes! I wear 11 and already had a red spot being to tight. Even my big toe hits the front now. I was told to wear a mesh shoe for more give and to go to a 11 1/2 wide shoe. Anyone else have to go up a size?
    This is all new to me due to 2 back surgeries. One causing neur6in my left big toe and part of arch. Hence the drop foot and need for AFO  to get my leg and ankle stronge  and walk the right way since neuropathy causes me to walk on outside of foot. 
    So as I said and info would be great
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,557 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @JanetZ and a very warm welcome to the community! I wore AFO splints as a child and have recently started wearing them as an adult. I can understand and relate to the emotions often associated with getting splints and I hope this is something that eases over time.

    I tend to wear shoes that are one or two sizes bigger, with wide fit shoes working the best. It's also good if you can take the insole out of the shoes as it gives you a bit more room for the splints. Over the years I have managed to find brogues, converse and doc martin boots which seem to suit most occasions! I also know that trainers are easier with AFO's (just not the style of shoe I normally would go for!).

    I know some people can only wear longer socks with their AFO but I have always found that short socks work just fine for me. I guess it is all personal preference! I did find my splints needed altering after initially getting them as there were areas that were rubbing and this shouldn't be happening.  

    If I can help with anything else then please do let me know! I have found mine revolutionary for my mobility despite it taking a while to get used to them and accept they are there.



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