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Custom Ankle Foot Orthotic 

Two hands holding two green custom foot orthotics

An ankle foot orthotic (AFO) is a brace that is applied to the foot, ankle and lower leg to best help support a person during their care for a range of conditions and injuries. By carefully cradling the foot and ankle and keeping it a fixed position, AFO’s can help the lower leg overcome weakness and instability, while controlling movement to help reduce pain, improve comfort, and support recovery from injury.

Our AFO’s are custom-made, meaning that they are prescribed and designed uniquely for your feet using a 3D scan. This means you get a well-fitted and functional device with the right specifications for your unique circumstances.

Which Conditions Require Ankle Foot Orthoses?

When certain criteria are met, we use AFO’s in the management of conditions affecting both children and adults, including:

As AFO’s are considered a more ‘aggressive’ form of treatment, simply meaning that they have a very significant effect on the foot and ankle and the way a person moves as a result, AFO’s may either be used immediately for problems that are either severe or where other conservative treatments are unlikely to yield a suitable outcome, or after conservative treatments haven’t produced the desired results.

How Do Ankle Foot Orthoses Work?

As your AFO with us is custom-made, it works in the specific ways we prescribe it to, based on the problem you are facing and the unique characteristics of your lower limbs. This can vary for each person, but generally all AFO’s will function to control movement and stabilise the foot and ankle, alongside in-built features that can offload certain areas when standing on the device. 

For those with foot drop or muscle weakness, the AFO brace will keep the foot in a neutral position where the foot doesn’t drop down, so the patient can keep walking comfortably without hitting their toes on the ground and risking a trip - or without having to hitch their hip up to clear the ground which can lead to other pains and problems. For others, keeping painful joints or tendons stable can assist the healing and repair process, preventing further damage. Other conditions like PTTD can benefit from AFO’s by helping prevent the condition from progressing.

Benefits Of Foot Ankle Orthotics

In our experience, our patients that have opted for AFO’s due to the nature of their condition have yielded great benefits , including that they:

Ankle Foot Orthotics Assessment 

Getting an AFO starts with a comprehensive assessment to ensure an AFO is a good choice for your condition and goals. This involves a detailed history, a physical assessment and testing, and a video gait analysis with an in-shoe pressure analysis where suitable. Your podiatrist will discuss all of your options from the results of an analysis, including what role an AFO could play and what you can expect from an AFO under your circumstances in the long-term.

Ankle Foot Orthotics Measurement

If you and your podiatrist agree that an AFO is the right choice for you, the next step is having measurements completed. This may involve testing for muscle strength and flexibility, range of motion testing, a foot posture index and more. An accurate impression of your foot and ankle are then taken, which has traditionally been done using casting, but that we now capture using 3D scanning. Paired with the results of your gait analysis, this gives your podiatrist all of the information they need to create your AFO prescription, selecting the best design and style to match your needs and activity levels. The final part of the equation is helping you select the best shoe to be worn with your AFO, whether that is one that you already have, or one that we recommend and order in for you at the time of your appointment. 

Ankle Foot Orthosis Fitting

Once your AFO has been created and returned, it must be fitted by your podiatrist. The fitting process ensures that the device is the right fit for your foot and ankle, while teaching you everything you need to know about how to put on and wear your AFO. Sometimes, your AFO may need some slight adjustments to have it feeling maximally comfortable on your feet, which is where we can help. We’ll also check how your AFO is working together with your shoe.

Do I Need To Wear My Ankle Foot Orthoses All The Time?

This all depends on the nature of your condition and your symptoms. For many of our patients, they find it difficult to walk comfortably without their AFO, or feel unsteady and are more vulnerable to injury. Hence, they wear their AFO’s as much as possible to help them move with confidence, and improve their ability to complete everyday activities. 


When discussing whether an AFO is right for you, this is something your podiatrist will give you advice on based on your unique circumstances, so you will have a better idea of what having an AFO will look like for you on a day-to-day basis.

Visit One Of Our Brisbane Podiatry Clinics

If you would like to talk to one of our team, visit us at one of two Brisbane based locations, CBD & Newmarket.

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CBD

Monday 7:30am - 6:00pm
Tuesday 7:30am - 6:00pm
Wednesday 7:30am - 6:00pm
Thursday
7:30am - 6:00pm
Friday CLOSED
Saturday CLOSED
Sunday CLOSED


Ground Floor, 344 Queen Street,
Brisbane City QLD 4000


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Newmarket

Monday 7:30am - 6:00pm
Tuesday 7:30am - 6:30pm
Wednesday 7:30am - 7:00pm
Thursday
7:30am - 7:00pm
Friday 7:30am - 5:00pm
Saturday 7:30am - 4:30pm
Sunday CLOSED


Newmarket Village, 114/400 Newmarket Rd, Newmarket QLD 4051


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