When you have a child in need of an ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) the options for fit and comfort can be overwhelming. You want a good quality orthotic device, and you want your child to be able to move in it comfortably. Our orthotist will help you and your child feel at ease when trying on and wearing pediatric orthotics. At your child’s appointment, we will discuss fit, function, and style.
Your Child’s Appointment: What to Expect
During your child’s appointment, we will go over a variety of options for a custom AFO, from color and design to fit and style. You and your child will be able to choose from a variety of colors and designs to fit your child’s unique personality. We’ll also have samples available for you to look at.
A few things to keep in mind for pediatric orthotics:
- The outer plastic shell color and design
- Custom transfers
- Velcro style and color
When buying your child’s shoes, it's important that they fit properly so that your child will continue wearing the AFO. Depending on your child’s needs, your orthotist may order custom orthopedic shoes for you, or you may be able to bring in your own pair. It’s important to know that you need a specialist to determine what will work best for your child.
Here are a few tips for selecting shoes for your child to wear with an AFO:
- A shoe with a removable sole will provide more room for an orthosis.
- Shoes with an extended tongue can help ease brace fitting.
- High tops or shoes that protect the ankle may offer more overall support, but might not be able to fit an AFO.
- There are a wide variety of brands that work with AFOs, check with your provider for a list.
To help accommodate your child’s two different shoe sizes, it might be best to purchase two differently sized shoes. Try to find the smallest shoe size to accommodate an orthotic device. Wearing a shoe that’s too big can pose a tripping hazard. If you opt for a canvas shoe, you might be able to snip a few threads on the tog to increase the ease of putting on the shoe.
Any non-braced shoe may require an insert to help both legs maintain the same height.
Buying a properly fitting shoe is important for a comfortable AFO fit, but the socks you buy matter, too! There are socks available that are specially designed to be worn with AFOs. It’s best to look for cotton, moisture-wicking, wrinkle-resistant socks. The socks need to be breathable and able to keep their shape.
Get Support—We Can Help!
Every family’s situation is unique, but you are not alone in this journey. A great way to ease the stress of your situation is to connect with others. We can help you connect with other families in similar situations to help you get the support you need.
When your child needs an AFO it can be overwhelming, and you may not know the options that are available—that’s where we come in. If you’re looking for high-quality orthotics from people you can trust, contact our professionals at BioTech and we’ll get your child a custom-fit they’ll love.