I'm a "mildly affected" PPSer who has up to this point not used any orthotics. (In fact, I don't have a "polio doc" of any kind.)
It's getting to the point, though, where I could probably use an AFO on my left ankle, to keep it from turning in when I am, eg, mowing the lawn on a slope.
What is the most reasonable approach for getting an AFO? I assume I should see some sort of doc - an orthopedist? Any "gotchas" to look out for? Any general idea as to the cost? (I'm on Medicare.)
A little update on this:
I discussed getting an AFO with my regular doc about a month ago and he referred me to a foot doc. Saw the foot doc last week and he examined me a bit and took my history and gave me a "Certificate of Medical Necessity". Took that to a local prosthetic outfit today and they did a cast of my foot and discussed the type of AFO to get. Sounds like the AFO will be ready in a week or ten days, assuming all the paperwork clears insurance.
There's been no discussion so far as to my cost, but I'm not too worried about that, within reason.
Today I picked up the AFO. The technician tried it on me, had me try it out a bit, discussed it's use a few minutes, and sent me on my way. The price on the invoice is about $900, though they imply (without actually saying it) that insurance (Medicare + supplemental) will cover all of it, or nearly so.
Tried it out a bit when I got home, walking in areas of the lawn where I'd had trouble, and it seems to work. Didn't do more because I was dog tired from working repairing my deck yesterday.
The unit comes most of the way up my calf and has a hinge that allows forward/back rotation but nothing side-to-side. Other units have a sort of "bumper" to prevent too much forward rotation, but I don't have foot drop and don't need that.
I'll need to find some suitable stockings, and it's yet to be seen how bad the thing is when it's hot and humid out.
Got to do some serious work wearing the AFO. Repairing our deck and cleaning out some gutters and had to, eg, carry an extension ladder around the north side of the house where the ground slopes badly to one side as one walks.
The AFO worked a treat -- I could sense the slope of the ground with my foot (which is good), but there was no tendency for the ankle to "roll", and walking seemed quite "normal".
I was concerned that the AFO might be a hindrance on the ladder, but such was not the case.
Even crawling around on the ground under the deck I didn't have any "awkward moments" attributable to the AFO. Wore the thing for several hours with no irritation.
Still need the stockings. I have a piece of "stockinette" that the AFO tech gave me, but that's not going to last long.
Glad that it"s working out good, Im sure I should look into something like this, Nice to read your story!
To kind of complete the story, I found some suitable stockings at a local medical supply store. What I bought were Jobst SensiFoot "diabetic socks". These are white (also available in black), knee-high acrylic socks -- thin but with a little padding, and fairly soft. They do not include any "compression" -- something I do not want/need, but something that others might.
I paid $16 for the pair, and since I use only one sock at a time the one pair should last long time.