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 a orthortic?
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 the appointment?
Your prescription, all necessary paperwork completed, current braces, shoes/sneakers and shorts or loose pants for a gait evaluation.
How many appointments are needed?
This depends on the device requested by your physician. Some devices that are not custom are referred to as “off the shelf.” These may require just one appointment if the device is in stock.
For custom devices, multiple appointments are required in order 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. Typically, your covering physician will specify length of wear on the prescription. It is recommended that your child wear the brace full-time during the day (with shoes). Unless advised by your orthotist, 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 full-time for 1 year or until your child outgrows the brace. 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.
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. The brace should not limit your child in doing any activity that they want. The more active your child is, the greater opportunity for the brace to create change. However, please refer to any recommendations from 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.
- 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 seam at the toe.
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.
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.
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.
What if I need to get new shoes?
You will need to schedule an adjustment appointment to get the shoe/brace 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 there any maintenance or cleaning instructions for the devices?
Use rubbing alcohol to clean the inside and outside of the braces. 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.