What is foot drop?
Foot drop, (sometimes referred to as drop foot) is NOT a disease; it is a symptom of an underlying neurological, muscular or anatomical condition marked by the inability to lift the front part of the foot. Foot drop can affect one or both feet. Depending on the cause, foot drop may be temporary or permanent.
How do I know if I have foot drop?
It is best to see your general practitioner if you believe you may have foot drop. Signs and symptoms of foot drop may include:
- Frequent or increased incidence of falling or stumbling
- Difficulty lifting one’s toes or the front part of the foot
- Dragging the front of the foot when walking
- A “slapping” of the foot on the floor with each step
- Higher than normal bending of the knees and lifting of the thigh, as though one is climbing stairs
- Inability to voluntarily point the toes upward and/or move the ankle from side to side
- Pain, weakness, or numbness in the foot or toes
What are Allard AFOs?
There are multiple Allard AFOs available in adult and pediatric sizes. Each brace is a technologically advanced, carbon composite orthosis that deflects in reaction to your weight and then reflects that energy to propel the leg forward. With varying supports, sizes, stability strengths and the ability to be highly customized, this dynamic ankle foot orthosis helps wearers walk with a more natural gait pattern.
Will one of the Allard AFOs work for my condition?
The best person to refer to on this question is either your primary care physician or orthotist. No one can evaluate whether Allard AFOs are right for you over the phone or via Email. If you need help finding an orthotist in your area, please contact Allard USA’s customer service team.
How do I get the ToeOFF®, BlueROCKER®, or Ypsilon® brace?
Allard AFOs are all prescription braces that can only be ordered and fit by a certified orthotist. All you need to do is get a prescription from your Primary Care Physician or Physical Therapist requesting an Allard AFO (MAKE SURE THEY INCLUDE THE PHRASE “NO SUBSTITUTIONS” TO ENSURE YOU RECEIVE THE HIGHEST QUALITY PRODUCT). If you are not currently seeing an orthotist, please call our main office, where our friendly Customer Service Specialists will be more than happy to help you find one in your area.
How much is the brace?
Bracing cost depends on several variables such as your insurance provider and how much customization has to be done to the brace. Your orthotist should be able to help answer any questions you have about general cost/billing.
Will my insurance cover the brace?
Allard USA is the manufacturer and distributor of Allard AFOs, and as such, do not deal directly with insurance companies or insurance billing. The facility where you are being fit for the brace should be able to help you with any insurance/billing/payment questions you may have.
Can I buy the brace directly from Allard USA?
Allard USA does not sell directly to patients as the braces need to be customized and fit by a certified orthotist. Fitting by a trained and certified orthotist with the proper equipment will ensure that you will receive optimal performance, comfort, and longevity from your brace.
How do I find an orthotist in my area that can fit me with a brace?
Our Customer Service Specialists are available Mon. – Fri. 9:00AM-5:30PM EST via phone at (888) 678-6548 or email at email@example.com.
I need a new SoftKIT™/Strap/Velcro Tab/Other Accessory. Can I order it directly from Allard USA?
Replacement accessories for Allard AFOs can be purchased from Rehabmart.com or by contacting your orthotist to order any replacement parts. If for any reason your orthotist cannot provide you with replacements or you don’t recall where you were fit for your brace, please call Allard USA’s friendly Customer Service Specialists to help you find a nearby facility that can help.
What kinds of shoes are best to wear with my Allard AFO?
The best shoes to wear with Allard AFOs are ‘rocker sole’ (also called rocker bottom) athletic shoes. There are two types of rocker sole shoes: 1. Stable, with a mostly flat sole that curves up near the toe to facilitate forward motion. 2. Unstable, with a curved sole from the heel to the toe. Be sure to go with a stable rocker sole shoe so as not to put undue stress on the brace. If possible, it is recommended that you avoid wearing boots, high-heels, or slippers with your brace. Your orthotist should be able to help you pick out the optimal shoe for your brace, but some recommended brands are Aetrex, Dr. Comfort, and Orthofeet.
It is important to choose supportive shoes. Sandals and loafers do not offer sufficient support and should not be worn with your brace. Your orthotist fit your orthosis based on the height of the heel on the shoe you were wearing at the time of your fitting. Allard USA encourages you to speak with your orthotist before selecting shoes that have significantly different heel heights than those you wore during your initial fitting. It is recommended to have some type of interface or orthotic between your foot and the footplate. Your orthotist may have to place an insole or custom footbed on top of the footplate. If not, ask your orthotist what type of interface will be best for you.
How do I clean my Allard AFO?
It is recommended to wash liners and straps approximately twice per week. Follow the washing instructions on the liner. The brace itself can be gently cleaned with mild soap and water.
What can I do in my Allard AFO?
Many activities that individuals with a normally functioning gait do are possible in your brace. The activity level of those wearing an Allard AFO range from sedentary to very active (walking, running, cycling, triathlons, etc.). It is best to discuss your recommended activity level with your orthotist or primary care physician.
What are the limitations of my Allard AFO?
It is recommended that certain activities are modified to extend the life and functionality of your brace. When climbing stairs, the wearer should place their entire foot on the step instead of walking on the balls of their feet. Likewise, when climbing a ladder, the center of the foot should be placed on the rung to minimize weight bearing on the ball of the foot alone. Squatting should be avoided as it will significantly increase the stress on the brace and increase the risk of breakage. Take care to not leave your brace laying down to reduce possibility of someone stepping or sitting on it. Do not expose your brace to temperature extremes such as leaving it in a car trunk on a hot day or outdoors during extreme cold. Be sure to check the skin area around the brace as well as the brace itself every day for irritation or abnormalities, especially if there is reduced feeling in the lower extremities.
Who might an Allard AFO not be right for?
Ultimately, a certified orthotist should be consulted about whether an Allard AFO is appropriate for you. However, some instances in which Allard AFOs may not be the best solution are:
- Leg ulcers
- Moderate to severe edema (swelling caused by fluid accumulation)
- Moderate to severe foot deformities **NOTE: Some foot amputations can be managed with the insertion of a partial foot prosthesis
- Severe hyperextension of the knee that cannot be managed orthotically **NOTE: Ask your orthotist about Allard’s COMBO™ brace in combination with an Allard AFO
Are Allard AFOs covered by warranty?
Yes. The warranty policies for our AFO products are as follows:
- All Models Ypsilon®, ToeOFF® and BlueROCKER® except Custom Allard AFOs – 2 Replacements within 1 year from date of original fit. Patient Satisfaction Guarantee – within 30 days of fit
- Allard AFO Padding Options and Liners – 90 days from original fit date for Maunfacturer's Defects. Patient Satisfaction Guarantee = within 30 days of fit
- Allard Pediatric AFOs – 1 Replacement within 6 months from date of original fit. Patient Satisfaction Guarantee = within 30 days of fit
My Allard AFO is cracking and/or broken. What do I do?
Please contact your orthotist immediately so that they can order you a replacement brace. If you do not recall where you were fitted, please call our Customer Service Specialists to help you find a nearby facility that can help.