Answers to Your Austin Foot & Ankle Injury Questions
If you have questions about foot and ankle injuries in central Texas, the Austin Foot & Ankle Specialists has the answers. We have the experience, knowledge, and resources to treat your injury and get you back to the activities you love. Call us today if you have been injured.
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Is there an OTC product that will stop me from falling?
There are many devices that can be acquired without a prescription or OTC. A thorough evaluation by a podiatrist will identify which of these devices while be best used to address your falls.
How many adults fall per year?
On average, one of every three adults over 65 falls each year.
How likely am I to fall again?
Older adults who have fallen previously are 2-3 times more likely to fall again in the following year.
When am I most at risk to fall?
The first two weeks after discharge from the hospital are a high risk time for falls; falls occur 4 times more frequently compared to three months after discharge.
What is an ankle-foot orthotic (AFO)?
An Ankle-foot orthotic is a brace, usually made of plastic that supports your foot, ankle and lower leg. Ankle-foot orthotics are used in cases where there is a need to support not just the foot but also the ankle in a more controlled and restrictive manner. Often the patient that requires this type of device has had or needs major reconstructive foot and ankle surgery, has a neuromuscular disease, or has had some degree of nerve damage which requires more than the standard degree of support offered by a foot orthotic alone.
What are the different types of AFO?
In short, there are primarily two different types of AFO's - Hinged, and Non Hinged or Solid AFO's. The hinged type is used when the stability of the ankle is an issue but the muscle function is intact. The Solid or Non Hinged AFO is used when there are varying degrees of muscle weakness or instability and the brace has to do all or part of the job the muscles are no longer able to do.
Isn't an AFO just a brace?
Yes, an Ankle Foot Orthotic is simply a brace. It is named for the joint or joints that it crosses. An AFO is an Ankle Foot Orthotic because it spans the ankle. A KAFO is a Knee Ankle Foot Orthotic as it spans the Ankle and the Knee etc....
Why should I see a podiatrist if I keep falling?
You may have a problem with postural control, which is described as the ability of a person to maintain the center of gravity over their legs, ankles, and feet. When there is a defect in this mechanism of control, postural sway can be measured and assessed as a significant factor in falls. We have developed along with experts in fall prevention an system to determine who is at risk and what solutions they may need to prevent continued falling.
How will a podiatrist evaluate me for fall risk?
As experts in the lower extremity, biomechanics and gait abnormalities we have worked with fall prevention occupational therapist to develop easy to perform assessment tools to identify at risk individuals to develop our treatment strategies.