Ossur’s ‘AFO Dynamic’ Ankle-Foot Orthosis Sets New Performance Standard

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By Mark Muller, CPO, CPed

Ossur has now applied the advanced technology of Flex-Foot® to a full line of orthoses.

At the forefront is the new AFO Dynamic ankle-foot orthosis, made from the same pre-impregnated carbon fiber that gives Flex-Foot some of its unique properties. The energy-storing capacity and other properties of this carbon fiber material make it ideal for orthotic devices, providing a strong, yet lightweight, support system with remarkable performance, including its high level of dynamic response and energy return.

The layering of the carbon fiber has been optimized through extensive computer analysis and mechanical testing as part of the continual refinement of Flex-Foot technology. Brought to the AFO Dynamic, this layering helps to ensure that the deflection of the forefoot from mid-stance to toe-off is proportional to the user's weight and impact level. Because it incorporates Ossur's carbon fiber technology, we believe that the AFO Dynamic is stronger and more durable than other currently available products.

Gait Assistance

The system also offers gait assistance through gradual plantarflexion at initial contact and medial-lateral stability at mid-stance. The carbon fiber technology provides energy return and assistance for propulsion of the limb at toe-off. Throughout swing phase, the foot is fully supported for optimal ground clearance.

The footplate design of this new orthosis provides a stiffness gradient that corresponds to the ground reaction forces as they are applied to the foot. The response becomes stiffer when extra support is needed and less stiff when conditions are milder.

Providing Strength, Visual Appeal

Efforts have been made to give the entire orthosis a pleasing profile. A medial strut makes it less visible than other ankle-foot orthoses and provides additional strength. It also prevents excessive pronation by supporting the lower leg and preventing the arch from collapsing. It has a simple strap mechanism for ease of use and visual appeal. And there is an open structure on the anterior tibia shell for stability without excess weight. A textile cover on the outside of the unit and inside the footplate provides an attractive appearance and protects the skin from contact with fiber residues.

The AFO Dynamic is only the beginning of Ossur's commitment to the research and development of new orthotic devices. We are excited to be entering this new field.

For more information, call 800.233.6263 or visit www.ossur.com

Mark Muller, CPO, CPed, is clinical prosthetist and orthotist at Ossur North America.