• Janique Lewis


Updated: Nov 11, 2020

The phrase AFO refers to an Ankle-Foot-Orthosis. There are many types of AFO’s that can be prescribed by an Orthotist depending on the diagnosis.

Foot drop is quite commonly diagnosed in patients and we consider the Xtern Turbomed AFO a suitable product to help people with this condition.

Foot drop is defined as the inability to lift your foot or feet. This could be due to weakness or paralysis of the muscle required to lift the foot. The foot drop can be identified through observing how a person walks, but should be confirmed by a medical professional.

A person with a foot drop will drag their toes when walking or lift their knee higher to allow adequate swing through of the foot. There is a high risk for people with foot drop to trip and fall, which will likely cause more damage and injury if the symptoms are not adequately managed.

The most common cause of a foot drop is damage or injury to nerves, but could also be caused by a stroke, polio and muscular dystrophy.

The traditional AFO’s are usually a plastic splint that inserts in footwear. This is a great option for treating foot drop, but it does not suit every patient’s needs.

The Xtern Turbomed is an AFO that functions the same way as the standard in-shoe product but is fitted on the outside of your footwear. This gives the Xtern a few unique features. Let’s focus on the key features:

  • Exoskeleton design fits onto the outside of the shoe

  • No skin contact with foot or ankle

  • Easily conforms to uneven ground and slopes

  • Highly durable thermoplastic (2 year warranty)

  • Heat adjustable (to change width and dorsiflexion strength)

  • Easily transferable from shoe to shoe

Patients do find that this product allows them to have the comfort of their own shoes without having anything else fitted internally. If you are using an orthotic inside your shoe for biomechanical or off-loading purposes, you may find that space is hard to come by!

As a standard, this AFO is fitted with a special clip which allows you to attach the orthotic to the outside of the shoe. In addition, in cases where the clip cannot be used i.e. sandals where the shoes do not have eyelets, there are alternative ways to fit the AFO to the shoe.

This product is loved by outdoor adventurers and all types of athletes as it does well to accommodate uneven terrain and is extremely durable.

Fitting the AFO is extremely easy and being so lightweight is just another bonus. There are also options to change the calf strap to a magnetic BOA system to make the fitting even easier.

All braces have their limitations due the design and material. Inappropriate footwear could prevent you from using the Xtern AFO, but you can discuss this further with your Orthotist.

The Xtern is also a contraindication for gross fixed deformity of the foot and ankle complex, severe spasticity, quadriceps weakness and crouch gait.

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