Varus-Control Molded Ankle-Foot Orthosis

LOUIS J. HABERMAN, CPO*West Orange, New Jersey

The Varus-Control Molded Ankle-Foot Orthosis has been fitted to 82 patients over the past seven years. The orthosis effectively controls moderate-to-severe spastic equinovarus deformity by applying separate, yet complimentary, three-point pressure systems to control the equinus and varus components. A large, circular extension about the lateral malleolus is well padded with a slot for passage of the prominence when donning the orthosis. It is a total-contact system which allows a normal heel-to-toe gait without shoe modifications as required for a solid ankle design. The orthosis is constructed of orthopedic-grade polypropylene and is lightweight and hygienic. It has been designed for one-handed donning. Unlike the traditional approach to spasticity control via forcible correction, the new approach locates the narrow range of nontonal state, captures it and maintains it throughout the gait cycle. A marked change in overall body mechanics is evident in 60 days of orthotic use, with the lower and often the upper limb displaying significant reductions in tone and tightness.

Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, 1199 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange, NJ 07052