Using Your Winkley AFO Brace
Updated: Jul 17, 2019
BREAK IN SCHEDULE
It is custom made to fit your body, and instructions from your orthotist should be followed carefully. Your orthotist and your doctor will determine the amount of time you need to wear your brace.
Always wear a snug cotton sock or stocking underneath your AFO. Smooth out all wrinkles, as they can cause irritation. If you perspire excessively, you may want to change your socks frequently.
Check your skin everyday for red marks or pressure sores. This is especially important if you have diabetes or lack sensation in your feet or legs. Your brace should fit snugly, but not cause any pain, bruises or blisters. Some pinkness is expected in areas of maximum correction or support. Any redness should disappear within 15 minutes of removing the brace. Try wearing the brace again in an hour or two. If you feel pain or if the redness on your skin lasts longer than 15 minutes, call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to have your AFO adjusted. It is important to keep your skin clean to avoid irritations. Mild soap and water are recommended. Do not use lotions, oils or ointments under your brace. If needed, use sparingly and allow to dry completely before putting the brace on.
USING THE STAIRS
Use a railing if it is available. Step up with the strong leg first; step down with the weak leg first. If you have someone assisting you, they need to be below you, coming up or going down. If you are using a cane, it goes up first or down first, before you step. If you are using crutches, they go up after you step up, and down before you step down.
WHEN TO CALL THE OFFICE
You may be seeing your orthotist for a follow up appointment within a few weeks of receiving your brace. Please call if you notice the following:
You have developed red areas or pressure sores from your brace.
You have had a significant weight change and your brace is too loose or too snug.
You are experiencing new pain in other areas of your body (knees, hips or back).
Your velcro no longer holds tight or other material is worn.
You have any other questions or concerns.
Never attempt to adjust or repair your brace yourself!