Common Examples of Use
- harcot-Marie-Tooth Disease
- Diabetic Drop Foot
- Drop Foot
- Peripheral Neuropathy
- Peroneal Nerve Injury
- Post CVA
- Post Stroke
BioMechanically, the Step-Smart design is more energy efficient than the competitive designs. It’s more desirable than the stiff design, since it allows for good plantarflexion at heel strike. It’s more desirable than the flexible designs, since it is preloaded. The benefit of a preload on the system is critical to shock absorption. Also, the Dorsi Flexion assist joints allows the best clearance at swing phase.
Gait Efficient Drop Foot Ankle Brace
With drop foot, however, it is not desirable to have a design with free plantarflexion. Naturally, our bodies control the deceleration at heel strike with an eccentric contraction of the dorsiflexors. This combined with a slight flexion moment at the knee is what creates the best shock absorption. With other flexible solutions, there is too much plantarflexion at heel strike causing foot slap. The result is trauma and pain to the calcaneous. The reason that the Step-Smart design is superior to the others is that it provides resistance to plantarflexion the instant the heel hits the ground. Some other designs need to be plantarflexed before the resistance is high enough to be effective. By then it is too late. The shock of hitting the ground has already damaged the foot and ankle. The new Step-Smart provides a pre-load that controls deceleration at contact.
The Step-Smart drop foot brace has come closest to providing the right amount of deceleration (dictated by pre-load). It is appreciated and considered the best drop foot brace by the medical community because patients feel better during ambulation.
Step-Smart Instructions (Video)
Recommended brace wearing schedule:
- Day 1: one hour in the morning, one hour in the afternoon.
- Day 2: two hours in the morning, two hours in the afternoon.
- Day 3: three hours in the morning, three hours in the afternoon.
- Day 4: four hours in the morning, four hours in the afternoon.
- Day 5: five hours in the morning, five hours in the afternoon.
- Day 6: six hours in the morning, six hours in the afternoon.
- Day 7 and beyond: all day
During this first week especially, it is important for you to examine your feet visually after each wearing period. Red marks are normal (like the kind you get from your socks), but they should go away in 30 minutes. If not, contact your health care provider.