Conventional Metal/Leather Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO)


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Metal/Leather (Conventional) AFO

An AFO is a device that is used to control instabilities in the lower limb by maintaining proper alignment and controlling motion.  It is most often used with patients suffering from neurological or orthopedic conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy; and often used where swelling of the leg and foot is present.  A conventional AFO is typically fabricated with two (2) metal upright bars and a leather covered calf band. The ankle joints are adjustable to control the amount of motion allowed in the ankle.  The AFO is most often connected to the shoe.


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Metal Leather AFO


  1. Apply a long cotton sock.
  2. Loosen laces/Velcro on shoe and calf band of AFO.
  3. Slide foot into shoe.
  4. Ensure that the foot is properly positioned in the back of the shoe.
  5. Fasten the laces/Velcro of shoe and the Velcro strap on the calf band.

Wearing Schedule

On the first day, begin by wearing the orthosis for one (1) hour.  After one hour, remove the orthosis and check your skin.  Some slight red marks may be observed on the skin.  These should fade and/or go away completely within 20-30 minutes.  Slight redness is common at the arch, instep and bony areas of the foot/ankle. If redness does not go away within 20-30 minutes, or if you notice any blistering or bruising do not put the orthosis back on.  Call your Orthotist immediately and schedule an appointment.

On the second day, put the orthosis on for two (2) hours.  Check skin, once again.  Increase amount of wear time an hour each day.  It typically takes 7-10 days to break in the AFO to be able to wear it all day.  Continue to check your skin for any areas of concern.

Cleaning & Maintenance

Use a damp cloth to clean the calf band of orthosis with a mixture of one (1) part rubbing alcohol and one (1) part water. Do not submerse the AFO in water.  Allow orthosis to dry before putting it back on.  It AFO becomes wet, please allow to dry completely.  On a spring-assist ankle joint, periodically oil or grease all moving parts to reduce wear.  Be sure to wipe off the device after oiling and check it frequently to avoid damage to clothing.

Tips & Problem Solving

  • If AFO begins squeaking, you may apply a small amount of oil to the ankle joints.


If you experience any problems, please contact your Orthotist.