How does a posterior ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) function for the treatment of foot drop?

Updated: Mar 23, 2020
  • Author: James W Pritchett, MD; Chief Editor: Vinod K Panchbhavi, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

If the AFO fits posterior to the malleoli (posterior leaf spring type), plantarflexion at heel strike is allowed, and pushoff returns the foot to neutral for the swing phase. This provides dorsiflexion assistance in instances of flaccid or mild spastic equinovarus deformity. A shoe-clasp orthosis that attaches directly to the heel counter of the shoe also may be used.


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