Have a question about lower limb orthotics? Below you’ll find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about these orthoses from patients and parents, answered by our skilled clinicians. If you have a question not answered here, feel free to call customer service at 800.262.2235 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What happens during the first appointment?
Your child will be evaluated by a clinician and either measured, casted, or scanned for custom devices. Please bring/wear shorts or loose-fitting pants to allow your child to be fully evaluated at the visit.
At this appointment we will be assessing goals and taking baseline outcome measurements. These are fundamentals of our program and ensure each child gets fit with the most appropriate device possible. You should plan on 1 hour for this appointment.
A fitting and follow-up plan will be discussed at this appointment. At the subsequent fitting appointment, you will be fitted with your orthosis.
Do I need a prescription for an orthotic?
Yes, we need a prescription from your covering physician. With your prescription we will create treatment plans/goals, implement plans, and follow-through in full patient care.
We will also process your paperwork and insurance coverage, so you are aware of coverage and any financial responsibility before moving forward.
What do I need to bring to appointments?
Appropriate shoes/sneakers, shorts or loose pants for a gait evaluation, and any assistive mobility devices that are typically used. At your first appointment you'll need your prescription and all necessary paperwork.
How many appointments are needed?
Multiple appointments are required to ensure the best care and outcomes for your child's mobility: initial evaluation/casting, fitting appointment, and follow-up appointments for progress checks and necessary growth adjustments.
How long will my child have to wear the braces each day?
That would depend upon the treatment goals. It's typically recommended that your child wear the brace(s) full-time during the day (with shoes). Unless advised by your orthotist or physician, braces don’t need to be worn for naps or bedtime.
How many years will my child need braces?
This depends on the treatment goals and progress your child makes in gaining strength, stability, and control. Improvement in these areas would decrease the need for the extra support of an orthosis. Your child's orthotic needs may change over time or fully resolve depending on their underlying condition, presentation, and progress. This decision will be made together with the treatment team and the referring physician.
Plan on wearing the brace(s) full-time for one year or until your child outgrows the brace(s). Duration of treatment will vary from patient to patient. Your orthotist will provide more specific information at
the time of your fitting.
Can my child take off their braces throughout the day?
For the best outcome, brace(s) should be worn anytime your child is standing or walking. Contact your orthotist if you have extenuating circumstances.
Will my child be able to go up/down stairs? (solid ankle AFOs only)
Yes, there are a number of strategies for this. Ask your physical therapist for recommendations.
Are there any limitations in activity when wearing the braces?
No, the more active your child is, the greater the opportunity for the brace(s) to create change. Certain activities such as swimming or skiing may not require brace wear and should be discussed with your orthotist. Please refer to your doctor if your child has to follow any motion or activity restrictions.
Can my child wear the brace(s) without shoes?
Braces should never be worn without shoes:
- Your brace(s) and shoe(s) are designed to be worn together. The shoes are an integral part of the system.
- It is dangerous to wear your brace(s) without shoes due to the risk of slipping/tripping. If the treatment plan specifically requires nighttime use, non-skid soling will be applied to the brace(s).
- Your brace(s) can be damaged if worn without shoes. This type of damage is not covered under any warranty.
What kind of socks should I wear?
Socks should be taller than the AFO, be good at wicking moisture and have no heel pocket or seams.
What do I do if I see a red area or blister?
Pressure from straps and pads might create mild redness in these areas, and this is normal. If you observe redness 30 minutes after the brace is removed, contact your orthotist. It may be helpful to email pictures to allow the orthotist to better understand your concerns. Your orthotist may recommend being seen for an adjustment.
Do I need to get new shoes?
Your orthotist will discuss appropriate shoe size and style at the evaluation appointment. It is very important that you bring appropriate shoes to the fitting appointment. If different shoes are bought after the brace(s) has been fit and tuned, you will need to schedule an adjustment appointment to get the shoes/brace(s) set up and functioning appropriately.
How do I select winter boots?
Generally, you will need a boot two sizes larger than what your child wears without AFOs and with a tongue that can open enough to allow the AFO to slip in.
Are braces covered by my insurance?
In many cases, the answer is yes. Each insurance plan is different, so we recommend being familiar with your plan and Durable Medical Equipment coverage.
What do I do if “parts” come off the brace or shoe?
We use a number of items to “tune” your child’s brace to their specific needs. Some pieces of the brace are made to fit specifically together, so all parts need to be kept/not lost—if the inner boot or outer boot are lost, and entire new brace will need to be made.
If any of these items become detached, please schedule an “adjustment” appointment so that the brace can be reset.
Are there any maintenance or cleaning instructions for the devices?
Use rubbing alcohol to clean the inside and outside of the brace(s). If you have concerns about any components of the brace, contact your orthotist.
How long are these braces going to last?
Braces are designed to last 9-12 months but it is dependent on the growth rate of your child.
Are straps covered under the warranty?
Our straps are covered under our 90-day warranty. Strap replacement outside of the 90-day warranty is a covered benefit and can be billed to insurance.