An orthosis or a brace must do at least three things by definition!
- Any bracing, by its very definition, MUST first prevent further
deformity from occurring and your present brace
should incorporate the necessary corrective force systems
to ascertain that no ligaments are under excessive and
constant stress that can cause micro failure, namely at
the mid tarsal and subtalar joints. A dropfoot is rarely,
if ever, just that. It is the result of either a partial
or a total paralysis of your limb, most likely a partial
paralysis. That means a mechanical imbalance that in time
can result in one or more muscle/tendon contractures and
secondarily cause a developing deformity of the foot-
specifically a breakdown of the plantar ligaments of the
- Next a brace, also by its definition,
should correct any existing deformity. If
your condition occurred this year, it is unlikely that a
serious deformity will occur in such a short period of
time, unless a prior deformity existed.
- A brace should assist you in
returning to as normal an ambulatory gait as
possible. That is its functional characteristic. It is
truly a mistake to think that any flexible brace can do
this. This is because walking is about the transfer of
your body weight through your limbs dynamically and it is
about, above all, balance through those same limbs
through very limited parameters. When those parameters
are not defined and met, then a deterioration of the
average walking speed occurs as abnormal forces detract
from what should be a primary net force.
One should not worry about a brace that has controlled rigidity affecting the recovery of your leg muscles or disuse atrophy. Quite the contrary, the muscles will exercise as intended with such a system.