Richie Brace Offloading System
In this second post of the series, Dr. Richie explains how the AeroSpring Offloading System may provide new opportunities for podiatrists.
How do you see AeroSpring changing the podiatry field?
I truly believe that podiatrists already prescribe walking boots to nearly the frequency of orthopedic surgeons. However, podiatrists have virtually ignored carbon fiber AFO braces. For years, the orthotic and prosthetic (O&P) communities have recognized the ease and success of implementing these devices as an alternative to solid shell AFO braces for drop foot. However, they have not explored how these braces can be used for other injuries and conditions. Specifically, no profession or specialty has discovered the potential for using carbon fiber AFO braces combined with custom foot orthoses to replace walking boots for common lower extremity musculoskeletal conditions. Podiatric physicians can emerge as groundbreakers in leading the implementation of this new, innovative technology.
How are clinical outcomes affected by the AeroSpring Offloading system?
There have been many clinical outcome studies published that used the same carbon fiber AFO brace design as the AeroSpring. These studies focus primarily on drop foot. There are also studies using this style AFO in the treatment of the Achilles tendon rupture.
By adding the foot orthotic system and offloading wedges, we enhance the outcomes., in my opinion. This improvement may help the patient with Achilles rupture, plantar fasciitis, drop foot, or Lisfranc sprains.
We know that compliance with walking boots is very poor and impacts the outcome of treatment in many ways. If we improve compliance by prescribing a lightweight, comfortable system, we certainly can expect to improve clinical outcomes as well. Both the patient and the practitioner will be pleased with the outcome.