Left: Steve Baum casting a patient at one of his clinics
Above: Steve delivering the patient's completed AFOs
Examples of Pediatric Lower Extremity Braces
Please note that there are many brace options and that the following is a very small swath of what lower extremity bracing is available at Align Clinic.
Cascade DAFO #4 / SMO
The SMO design is usually reserved for issues that reside below the ankle. Only the mildest of dropfoot can be addressed with a brace this low in height. This style is best served by the population w/ moderate to severe medial / lateral midfoot and/ or hindfoot issues such as over-pronation, valgus and/ or eversion that cannot be adequately addressed by a plantar insert.
Cascade DAFO 3.5
This example is the Cascade DAFO 3.5 design that consists of a flexible shaft that can be ordered from very flexible to semi-rigid. This portion of the brace controls excess posterior motion while allowing dorsiflexion. The flexible wrap around design of the hindfoot and midfoot portion helps control the medial/ lateral deviations similar to the SMO design. Some of the problems this brace will address are lack of active dorsiflexion during swing, controlling mild to moderate plantarflexion. This brace may also contribute to reducing inconsistent foot placement during gait. Other designs that could be considered when looking at this brace may be articulated ankle joint type braces that can enhance motion that may be lacking or contain extraneous motion detrimental to gait.
Cascade DAFO, Turbo design
The Turbo design is a two piece design. It is usually fabricated to be used together, but under certain conditions it can be constructed so that the inner shell can be used separately during physical therapy and or supervised practice.
The design incorporates a strong posterior shell that that originates form under the forefoot and terminates below the knee. It helps the client w/ a strong stabilizing anterior / posterior presence. The interior piece fits intimately into the posterior piece and is very similar to the shape of an SMO but is thin and more flexible. It secures the medial / lateral alignment of the foot securely into the brace. This type of brace works well for the person that may either crouch or has strong excess plantarflexion.
The KAFO (Knee/Ankle/Foot/ Orthosis) is usually specified for the client with weak or uncontrolled knee issues. It is a tall leg brace, with the knee joint that can allow certain motion or be locked with variously types of hardware depending on the size of the client & their particular needs. This brace has the option to have ankle treatments ranging from rigid to free motion. Typical applications for a KAFO range from significant knee hyperextension, knee contracture, or the inability to actively keep the knee extended while walking.
At Align Clinic, we understand that pediatric patients are different from adults, and our practitioners are committed to treating them as such. We take great care in handling the orthotic needs of our youngest patients, treating not only their conditions but also providing them and their parents with emotional support. Parents and caregivers can feel confident with the level of experience we have in treating many neuromuscular and developmental conditions, such as scoliosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, Down’s syndrome, and spina bifida. Our objective when treating children is always to correct the issue as quickly as possible while also providing the child with the most mobility possible. We design our braces to match the functional level of each pediatric patient in order to allow them to fulfill their full potential.
Align Clinic offers a wide spectrum of pediatric orthotic services. Our practitioners are trained and experienced in orthotic services ranging from prefabricated orthoses for infants with clubfoot or developmental dysplasia of the hip to custom fabricated orthoses for musculoskeletal conditions such as cerebral palsy or scoliosis. These can include Pavlik harnesses, DAFOs, UCBLs, scoliosis braces, and cranial remolding orthoses (CRO), among others.
Each child in need of orthotic care is managed on an individual basis, with a treatment plan based on their needs and goals. We are committed to a team approach, working in constant communication with patients, parents, physicians, and therapists, to give each child the best possible outcome. As part of this team, we strive to support our pediatric patients as they grow and mature, always ensuring that the devices they are using have the optimal function for their stage of growth and development and quickly adjusting or replacing the devices as needed.
If you are interested in a free evaluation for your child, please call our office at 650-375-2231.