Patients often experience extreme, chronic pain to the foot and ankle, which limits their activities of daily living. Many athletes wish to return to their sports after an ankle injury, but going unbraced can be too painful and patients often complain of lack of support. At times, patients respond well to conservative measures such as orthotics or supportive shoe gear for their less serious injuries, but at times, a more supportive brace is needed.
As discussed in a previous blog, patients can experience tendonitis along their posterior tibial tendon, which is the main tendon which helps support the arch. This can cause changes to the arch, such as flattening of the arch, especially if the tendon is not functioning properly. Patients will often require a supportive device to offload the tendon and help control excess motion of the foot. At the same time, this also controls excess motion of the ankle. This device is known as a custom Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO).
A custom AFO brace is specifically designed for the patient based on a cast mold of the patient’s foot and ankle. It is often a rigid/semi-rigid structure that controls excess motion in the foot, and a brace whic is attached to prevent excess motion of the ankle. This device can be tailored to a patient who has other chronic ankle pain or issues. Patients respond well to this device as it helps support the foot and ankle, and delays the need for surgical intervention.
If you have chronic heel or ankle pain, do not hesitate to make an appointment with us at Worthington Foot & Ankle