When is an ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) indicated in the treatment of foot drop?

Updated: Mar 23, 2020
  • Author: James W Pritchett, MD; Chief Editor: Vinod K Panchbhavi, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

An AFO may be used for foot drop when surgery is not warranted or during surgical or neurologic recovery. The specific purpose of an AFO is to provide toe dorsiflexion during the swing phase, medial or lateral stability at the ankle during stance, and, if necessary, pushoff stimulation during the late stance phase. An AFO is helpful only if the foot can achieve plantigrade position when the patient is standing. Any equinus contracture precludes its successful use.


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