Foot injuries and ankle problems are common in all age groups. From congenital conditions and athletic injuries to old age issues, your ankle and feet undergo a lot of trauma.
Arizona brace is one of the most efficient options for food and ankle bracing.
In this article, we’ll cover the nine conditions for which your Orthotist will prescribe you an Arizona brace.
What Is an Arizona Brace?
The Arizona brace is an ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) prescribed to increase the stability of your ankle and reduce complications of an injury. It works by fitting inside your shoe and wrapping around your ankle and foot. The Arizona brace supports the region from all four sides and has a few different designs that you can use according to your need.
Wearing an AFO or an Arizona brace takes some getting used to, but once the training is complete patients gain their mobility back and enjoy a stable ankle.
Reasons Why Your Orthotist Will Prescribe You an Arizona Brace
Now that you know what the Arizona Brace is, let’s look at the nine conditions where your Orthotist might prescribe you one:
1. PTTD (Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction)
The Posterior Tibial Tendon is one of the most important tendons of the leg since it connects the calf muscles to the bones of the foot. Problems with this tendon lead to difficulty in walking, holding up the foot’s arch, thus reducing fall risk and, if left untreated, lead to a multitude of other foot-related problems.
An Arizona brace provides external support to the area by stabilizing the ankle of PTTD patients during walking and relieves the tendon of its function, so the tendon can heal.
2. Hindfoot Osteoarthritis or Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD)
The Hindfoot means the posterior region of your foot or the ankle area. Degenerative changes related to inflammation and arthritis cause pain and affect your gait pattern as well as mobility.
Using an Arizona brace for Hindfoot OA provides symptomatic relief. Since it supports your joint from all sides, the brace reduces unnecessary outward (abduction) or inward (adduction) motion at the ankle joint and improves your walk.
Sinus Tarsi Syndrome is a consequence of Hindfoot arthritis. It’s where tendons impinge in a tunnel between two of the ankle bones. Arizona ankle brace helps prevent that as well.
3. Hindfoot Varus or Valgus
Hindfoot varus is a condition where the heel of your foot moves inward as compared to its midline position (line passing through the talus and the calcaneus bones). And Hindfoot valgus is the opposite with the calcaneus moves outwards or is abducted.
Your Orthotist will prescribe you Arizona foot braces for either of these conditions as a non-surgical treatment. It’ll correct the alignment of your ankle by bringing the bones and the joint towards the midline. And also prevent other conditions such as flatfoot.
4. Postural Stability in Older Population
A major reason for older individuals’ postural problems is the instability of the ankle joint and the loss of proprioceptive feedback from the foot.
An Arizona foot brace helps stabilize the area and reduces the postural sway that older people suffer from. It also contributes towards increased confidence in walking.
Due to a lack of muscle strength, the elderly have reduced postural stability. An Arizona ankle brace provides them with much needed external support. 5. Tibialis Tendonitis
Tibialis tendonitis is a condition where the posterior or anterior tibial tendon is inflamed, mostly after an injury to the area. That results in pain and an unstable gait because this muscle is responsible for holding up the arch of the foot.
When the tibial tendon is inflamed, the arch falls and produces flatfoot.
The condition takes about 8 weeks to heal properly and an Arizona ankle brace is used during that time. It takes the load off the tendon and provides additional stability. 6. Severe Pronation or Flat Foot
Pronation of the foot (inward turning) or flat feet can be a congenital condition or adult-acquired due to damage of the surrounding structures.
Although this condition doesn’t always require treatment, the Arizona foot brace is sometimes prescribed in extreme situations where the flatfoot is leading to knee problems, pain or damaging other structures. 7. Reducing Risk of Fall in Elderly
Incorrectly fitting shoes cause foot problems in people of all ages. But the older population faces more difficulty in balancing themselves while standing or walking with foot deformities. That leads to an increased risk of falls.
That’s just one of the reasons for falls in older people.
The Arizona brace for the ankle reduces foot deformities such as Hindfoot varus, flatfoot or degenerative changes and increases balance thus reduces the risk of fall. That’s a major reason why your Orthotist will prescribe you an Arizona brace. 8. Charcot Foot
People suffering from peripheral neuropathy (damage to the nerves of the lower limb) develop Charcot foot. It’s a condition where foot bones may break and joints may dislocate due to weakness of the entire ankle region.
There’s a risk of the entire foot being deformed due to Charcot foot. Your Orthotist will prescribe you an Arizona foot brace for this condition to avoid permanent damage to any of the foot or ankle structures. 9. Ankle, Subtalar or Midtarsal Trauma
Subtalar is a joint in the foot at the level of the ankle. And Midtarsal is the joint between the rearfoot and the midfoot. Trauma to these regions can mean dislocations, injury, fractures or any other damage.
Ankle trauma results in instability and weakness of the surrounding muscles and ligaments. The Arizona brace for the ankle helps stabilize the region.
Foot or ankle problems require prompt treatment to prevent the issues from getting worse. Our mobility is one of our key strengths and it’s difficult to function without a healthy foot.
If you suffer from any of the conditions mentioned above, then book a free consultation with our Orthotists to learn more about AFOs specifically the Arizona brace and get one fitted for yourself.
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