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Pediatric Tuned Ankle-Foot Orthosis Footwear Combination

The "tuning" of the ankle-foot orthosis footwear combination is the process of selecting and adjusting the design features of the ankle-foot orthosis and footwear to achieve optimal performance in gait.

Goals for this technique include:

  • improved tolerance of the ankle-foot orthosis and footwear.
  • maintenance of arch integrity.
  • improved standing balance.
  • improved alignment in gait.
  • improved efficiency in gait.
  • improved range of motion and strength over time.

If your child has been recommended for a tuned ankle-foot orthosis footwear combination, there are several steps in this process.

Your child will be assessed by a team of clinicians, including a physiatrist, physical therapist and orthotist. Together, they will determine the appropriate angle and initial design features of the ankle-foot orthosis. It may be recommended that your child's ankle-foot orthosis be set in plantar flexion, have an additional anterior support, or be made long. The assessment will include a video analysis of your child walking.

Your child will be fitted with the ankle-foot orthosis in the orthotist's office or the Marianjoy Prosthetic and Orthotic Center, as determined by the team. All tuned ankle-foot orthosis footwear combinations will have some wedging in the shoe or a heel on the ankle-foot orthosis. The orthotist may order shoes for your child or will guide you as to the type of shoes you should bring with you to the appointment.

After your child has been fitted with the ankle-foot orthosis, follow-up appointments will be scheduled in either Marianjoy's Prosthetic and Orthotic Center or in Marianjoy's pediatric physical therapy. These sessions will be one hour long, and, based on your child's needs, two-to-four sessions may be scheduled. These sessions will enable the team to assess the ankle-foot orthosis footwear combination; make adjustments to the orthotic or footwear; and give instruction on gait training and in-home activities. Changes to the ankle-foot orthosis or footwear will be recommended to optimize the performance of your child's walking.

After the initial adjustments, it is recommended that your child work in therapy on the recommended activities and gait training until the next follow-up visit.

To Schedule an Appointment

To schedule an appointment, please contact the Marianjoy Pediatric Scheduling Department at 630.909.7155.