April 2012

Switch to Allard carbon composite AFOs increases calf circumference, study finds

Research presented in March at the American Association of Orthotists & Prosthetists meeting in Atlanta reported that switching patients with foot drop from a molded plastic ankle foot orthosis (AFO) to energy reflecting carbon open-heel AFOs made by Rockaway, NJ-based Allard USA significantly increased calf circumference eight weeks after the change.

Prior to the switch, 10 of the 19 study patients wore posterior leaf spring AFOs, six wore solid ankle AFOs, and three wore articulated AFOs. Investigators from Capital Prosthetics & Orthotics in Columbia, SC, and Chapman University in Orange, CA, measured baseline calf circumference and walking speed and surveyed patients about their perceived ability to conceal the device, comfort, balance, weight, stability, and end-of-the-day strength. Patients then received open-heel AFOs; 13 were fitted with Allard’s ToeOff AFO, five with the BlueRocker, and one in the Ypsilon.

After eight weeks of wear, calf circumference and all other data measures except for walking speed and distance increased significantly from baseline. Investigators concluded that calf atrophy observed in patients with foot drop is not just a result of their neurological deficits, but also is influenced by the calcaneal immobility linked to wearing molded AFOs.

5 Responses to Switch to Allard carbon composite AFOs increases calf circumference, study finds

  1. DONNA PICHE says:

    AFTER BEING DIAGNOSEDIN 2009 AT AGE 56 AND WEARING AFO’S BASICALLY WITH MY FEET LOCKED IN NOT KNOWING THAT THERE WERE OTHER OPTIONS OUT THERE…I NOW HAVE BEEN WEARING THE TOE OFF FOR 3WEEKS. STILL NEED SOME TEAKING FOR THE LEFT FOOT.(NO PAIN OR CUTS LIKE THE AFO’S JUST A CORRECTION FROM HEEL TO TOE) THE RIGHT IS SO COMFORTABLE FROM THE MINUTE I PUT IT ON,SO MUCH LIGHTER. MY WALKING SPEED HAS INCREASED GREATLY, MY PACE IS EQUAL TO MY HUSBAND/FIRENDS. MY POSTURE MUCH BETTER BUT THE BIG DIFFERENCE FOR ME..I NO LONGER WALK WITH JUST MY HIPS(WHICH AFTER AWHILE THE TOPS OF MY THIGH WOULD PAIN) I HAVE A NORMAL GATE AND I CAN FEEL MY LOWER BACK/HIPS ACTUALLY SWAY BACK AND FORTH LIKE NORMAL. I’M NOT AS TIRED..AND I ALMOST FEEL LIKE RUNNING ..BUT NOT THERE YET! (AND I ACTUALLY DON’T KNOW HOW TO RUN) NEVER SAY NEVER…I AM HOPING MY GOLF GAME IMPROVES…THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! I WOULD RECOMMEND LOOKING INTO THIS PRODUCT IT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

  2. Steve Throner says:

    Hey,
    Diagnosed with what? I am a golfer with CMT. Boy would I like to find braces that gave me my balance back. Did your golf game improve? Did you look into any other brace designs? Is the open heel really that much better? full of questions..do you have any answers? Thanks

    Steve
    Good luck

  3. Bud says:

    Steve,

    After suffering a spinal cord injury, I am now what is considered to be an “incomplete paraplegic”.
    With severely atrophied muscles in my lower extremities, I only regained 60 – 70 % of my leg strength back and my balance is “OK” , not good or great. Pre-injury I was an avid golfer. Post-injury, I’m still an avid golfer thanks to these braces achieving my lowest scores ever (6hcp). Nowadays i just grin when a playing partner asks what my handicap is. These braces will definitely help with support, balance and stamina. Give them a shot.

    Bud

  4. DONNA PICHE says:

    Steve I also have CMT and a golfer. I have just broken my second pair of Toe Offs. 1st pair lasted 8-9 month. Second pair 4 months. I was told maybe the Blue Rocker would be better. I actually will be going to a seminar tomorrow with Allard Reps.,my Orthotist…My 1st pair I thought maybe I was to hard on them..playing golf, riding a stationary bike, walking 3 miles. the 2nd pair it was winter, no golf, no long walks but I do ride the bike a few times…so I know it’s not me..especially when I’m reading articles about people running a marathon. I will let you know the out come..

  5. Chris Macklin says:

    I, too, have CMT. Four years ago, after spinal fusion surgery, I was given a standard set of BlueROCKER braces. After major back surgery, it was essential to be able to rehab. My braces have been extraordinary. They are strong enough to support my 240 pounds, and 6’2″ frame. (I do like the Hostess cupcakes). I am still using the original set, with washable Softkit inserts. I do not run, unless it’s an emergency. I do not wear my orthotics when I golf. The added flexibility, even with the stronger BlueROCKERS, have allowed me enough balance and calf strength to maintain most of the balance I need to golf safely. My back is strong. My CMT remains a nuisance, but I am comfortable in my job as a school administrator, and am very lucky that these orthotics were handed to me almost four years ago. My stability is excellent. My atrophy is minimized and I move around in my daily life as normally as I can. I could not be more pleased. Lighter, stronger, and dependable are great to have. My size has made it necessary to give some things up but the quality of my living has been greatly maintained by the BlueROCKERS. Thanks Dr. Eden and my neurologists over the years.

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