Q: I have a high steppage gait. Will this disappear with braces?
A: Yes, but only if you are braced in proper alignment.
Q: I feel off-balance in my current AFO's. Why is this?
A: It is generally due to a poor fit, or poor fit in conjunction with poor alignment.
Q: I feel extremely tired after walking a long distance, is this related to my braces?
A: This is a strong indicator that you are not getting the benefits from an energy return system. Or you might be walking with gait compensations that are causing early fatigue.
Q: With my current brace I am getting severe pain in my foot from the footplate. Why is this?
A: Generally, this is due to poor mold rectifications. Some practitioners overcorrect, or there simply might not be any correction at all. This is something that needs to be checked.
Q: What are floor reaction forces?
A: The reaction from the floor as an object, such as a ball or a foot, or a braced limb, strikes it.
Q: With my current braces I try to get to a faster walking speed, and I have trouble sometimes as there is a hesitation when my foot tries to roll over. Why is this?
A: It can be because:
Q: How fast should I be walking?
A: The average human walking speed is 3.0 miles per hour.
The following is just a brief outline to help you to become more familiar with what you have. If you know the type you have when you call us or send in a videotape for assessment, we will automatically know what to look for in your correction system:
Whenever I receive e-mails or phone calls from CMT’ers, usually someone says “my balance is getting worse”, or “will these braces help with my balance”. Yes, they do help restore balance. They do this by correcting and stabilizing the deviations in joint alignment. But how is balance achieved? It is achieved through forces that stabilize segments of the body.
Stability: the broader the supporting area…the greater the stability becomes. Greater stability equals greater balance.
Through careful mechanical design of the orthosis, stability is achieved by two essential things:
Through proper brace design and reduction of gait deviations, better balance and stability is attainable for you.
With CMT, we want to correct your foot as much as possible. What does this mean? This means within the tolerances that meet acceptable standards. We do not want to correct your foot beyond what your body can tolerate. As practitioners, we must realize our limits and your limits as well. We will work with you to properly design your orthosis, so that you can wear it comfortably with maximal correction. Silicone allows greater tolerance to correction and greater comfort. At the very least the primary goal of any orthosis is to prevent any further deformity.
Once this is done new alignment can be put in place and better balance develops as a result. If you can take care of number one, and in addition take care of numbers two and three, and put all three equations together: the patient will experience improved alignment which is an improved structural outcome. This equals enhanced balance and usually results in an increased velocity or walking speed.
The Helios® Orthosis is a registered trademark of Ortho Rehab Designs.