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Dynamic Ankle Foot Orthosis (DAFO) 



A DAFO (Dynamic Ankle-Foot Orthosis) is designed to change the position of the patient’s foot during normal daily life. The more involved and less mobile the foot, the more “pushing” the brace must do to hold the new foot position. The wrap around design is excellent at keeping this pressure spread out over large areas. An initial break-in period  is recommended to allow the skin to toughen up slightly. The foot will also begin to relax in its new position through a decrease in total pressure.

 

After an initial break-in period of intermittent wearing for the first 2 or 3 weeks, children adapt quickly to wearing braces full time. Any complaints of discomfort, especially after the child has been wearing braces comfortably for a while, may signal a need for adjustment of the brace or that the child has outgrown the brace. Some redness, especially under the ankle strap, is common due to the amount of muscle tone being controlled by the brace. Any red mark or sign of irritation that does not go away within 20 minutes after the brace has been removed may indicate a fit problem requiring action. Be sure to inform your practitioner if this happens.

 

DAFO’s are made from a variety of plastics, depending on the chosen brace style. They are thin and flexible, yet durable under normal wear. DAFOs should be worn with shoes for walking on hard surfaces or outside. Scoring or heavy scratching, especially on the bottom, may lead to stress fractures in the plastic.

 

ASSOCIATED CONDITIONS

WEARING PROTOCOL

 

1.       Initially one hour increments wearing time.

2.       Monitor foot for skin changes

 

Complete wearing protocol instructions will be supplied by your physician and certified orthotist.

 

Don and Doff

  •   If possible, seat the patient with hip and knee flexed and the foot resting on the floor. Place an appropriate sock on the patient's foot and smooth out any wrinkles or bagginess in the sock (a cottonsynthetic blend of moderate thickness is recommended). Open the top/front of the brace wide and "scoop" the foot into the brace.
  • Work the heel into the back of the brace. Pull the brace up and down slightly while pushing the top of the foot back.

Specific detailed instructions will be provided by your certified orthotist, physician and physical therapist.F

 

CARE

 

Clean the DAFOs using a sponge or soft brush with mild soap and warm water. Towel dry, then allow a few hours for thorough air drying. Do not dry with heat. In cold temperatures, DAFOs may become brittle and more prone to stress fractures. Be careful not to suddenly pry the brace open when it is very cold.



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