FAQ: The Natural Ankle Foot Orthosis

What lead to the development of  The Natural Ankle Foot Orthosis?

The Natural Ankle Foot Orthosis (NFO) was developed in an effort to provide a more dynamic and flexible brace that would allow normal ankle and knee articulation while preventing foot drop. Though plastic AFOs were superior in many ways to their metal counterparts, they often resulted in restriction of ankle and foot motion. When patients were fit with rigid plastic AFOs they complained of a “ski-boot” effect, or a sudden knee flexion and foot slap moment. Often times we would see patients engaging in a “step to gait”, where they would not advance the braced leg ahead for fear of having their knee buckle or sudden and severe foot slap. When we designed the NFO we were looking to create a a brace that would gently allow the ankle and foot to contact the floor in a smooth and controlled fashion. We found that a flexible foot plate would allow this controlled motion on not only flat, even surfaces, but also on uneven terrain. This is particularly useful with patients who want to engage in higher activity levels, those who want to walk with increased speeds and in a natural gait pattern.

How is the Natural Foot Orthosis Unique?

The NFO has a patented design and a unique configuration. The absence of plastic in the heel area permits plantar flexion of the ankle and extension of the knee. This allows the patient to assume a very natural step over step gait pattern while continuously controlling their drop foot.

Are the other benefits to the Natural Foot Orthosis design?

The NFO design is lightweight , cosmetically superior to other plastic AFOs, more tolerant of shoe heel height changes and  incurs less shoe fitting problems.

I am from out of state/overseas.  How can I get a Natural Foot Orthosis?

We offer a two day turn around time at our central fabrication facility in Salisbury, Maryland for out of town patients to be measured and fit for a the Natural Foot Orthosis. We ask that you arrive by 11:00 on your scheduled measurement day and we have you return the following day for fitting and delivery. You can obtain additional information, scheduling availability and pricing by calling our central fabrication facility at 800-532-4473.