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Clinical Hub,Patient Education,Health and Nutrition Facts For You,Orthopedics

Using Your AFO Brace at Home (5933)

Using Your AFO Brace at Home (5933) - Clinical Hub, Patient Education, Health and Nutrition Facts For You, Orthopedics

5933


Using Your AFO Brace at Home

Purpose of the AFO
Your AFO (Ankle Foot Orthosis/Brace)
supports your ankle and foot. It can reduce
pain, prevent further injury, promote healing
and help you walk.
Wearing your AFO
Your AFO should not hurt to wear. When
you start wearing the AFO, you must get
used to it. Slowly increase the amount of
time you wear the AFO. Always wear a sock
between your skin and the AFO. The sock
wicks sweat away from your skin and helps
prevent rubbing between your skin and the
plastic. The sock should be snug enough so
that there are no wrinkles. At first, you will
have to check your skin for sores often. This
is very important if you have partial or no
feeling in your foot. On day one, we advise
you to check your skin every hour. You may
need a mirror to see the bottom of your foot
or the back of your leg. You should report
any red marks on your skin that don’t fade
after 20 minutes to your orthotist as soon as
possible so changes can be made.
Putting on your AFO
The AFO can be put on 2 different ways.
Try both ways to see which way works
better for you. Remember, your shoe is part
of the bracing system. A solid shoe will last
longer and provide you with more stability.
Select a lace-up, oxford style shoe or an
athletic shoe with the insert removed. The
shoes often need to be at least a ½ size
larger and wider than normal.
Method 1: Place the AFO on your leg and
foot. Lift your foot so that your leg crosses
your other knee. Loosen your shoelaces or
Velcro straps as wide as you can get them.
Grab your ankle and AFO together while
putting your shoe on over the AFO and foot.
Fasten the calf strap and any other straps on
the AFO. Tighten and fasten your shoe.
Method 2: Place the AFO into your shoe.
Loosen the shoelaces or Velcro straps as
wide as you can get them. Slide your foot
into AFO/shoe using the AFO as a giant
shoehorn. Fasten calf strap and any other
straps on the AFO. Tighten and fasten your
shoe.
General Instructions
ξ Do not sleep in your AFO unless it
has been made specifically for
sleeping. Sleeping in your AFO can
cause sores (skin breakdown).
ξ Never wear the AFO without a shoe.
The plastic is very slippery and you
may fall.



Cleaning your AFO
Wipe off the outside and inside with a damp,
soapy cloth or a cloth dampened with
rubbing alcohol. Dry it. The straps may be
scrubbed with a brush on the smooth Dacron
side. Let the straps air dry. The hook
fastener will hold best if all the lint is
removed, (a dental pick or safety pin works
well to lift lint up from Velcro).
What should I do if I need adjustments to
or concerns about my AFO?
Patients should call the Orthotics Clinic at
one of the locations below for an
appointment:
UW Health at The American Center
Orthotics
4602 Eastpark Blvd.
Madison, WI 53718
(608) 440-6677 or (844) 607-4800
UW Health Orthotics Clinic
6220 University Ave.
Middleton, WI 53562
(608) 263-0583 or (877) 894-9940
Middleton Rehab Orthotics
6220 University Ave.
Middleton, WI 53562
(608) 263-8412 or (800) 323-8942

What should I do if my neurological
symptoms get worse?
If you have more numbness, tingling, pain
or are less able to move or do your normal
activities, call:
Patients of the Neurosurgery Clinic: (608)
263-1410
Patients of the Rehab Clinic: (608) 263-8412
After hours, nights, weekends, and holidays,
this will give you the paging operator. Ask
for the resident on call for your clinic. Leave
your name and phone number with the area
code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live out of the area, please call 1-800-
323-8942 and ask for your clinic.
Your health care team may have given you
this information as part of your care. If so,
please use it and call if you have any
questions. If this information was not given
to you as part of your care, please check
with your doctor. This is not medical advice.
This is not to be used for diagnosis or
treatment of any medical condition. Because
each person’s health needs are different, you
should talk with your doctor or others on
your health care team when using this
information. If you have an emergency,
please call 911.


The Spanish version of this Health Facts for You is #7214
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 3/2017 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing HF#5933.