KAFO - Knee Ankle Foot Orthosis - What This Brace Does and Where To Find One

1.) What is a KAFO?

The acronym KAFO stands for a "knee ankle foot orthosis". - This is a brace (orthosis) that extends from under your foot, up past your knee and includes at least part of your thigh. Usually, most of the thigh is included and as you can see the knee, ankle and foot are all involved; thus the term.

2.) Why Would Someone Need A KAFO?

A person can benefit from the use of a KAFO when they have weakness or instability in their lower extremities. This means that not only is their ankle and foot in need of support, but their knee also needs improved levels of direct support as well. - Knee joints and ankle joints can be involved as well that can allow or restrict motion, depending on the diagnosis as well.

3.) Fracture KAFOs

When a person fractures a bone at or near the knee joint, they can also benefit from what is called a "fracture KAFO". These braces can be very effective because when movement is not wanted at a fracture site then this brace can restrict undesirable movements. Typically the knee joint will be "locked out" and you may still be allowed to have ankle range of motion to help you still have a relatively smooth gait.

4.) Where To Get A KAFO

A KAFO is something that you might see pictures of on the internet, but it is important to not get a custom KAFO from anyone that is not a professional in the field of orthotics. When we refer to "professional" here we mean that they must have a license in the field of orthotics. - To many people will tell you that they are medical professionals and try to fit you with a brace but it is at this point that you are starting to take chances. A custom KAFO should be provided to you by an orthotist.

5.) Insurance & Braces

When you go to your appointment for the casting and measuring process of a KAFO, it is important to bring your ID and any health insurance information that you have. Many times, a person's insurance can pay for the majority of a brace, if not the entire amount of the cost. - This is another reason why you should visit an orthotist. O & P (orthotic & prosthetic) companies typically are used to submitting claims for people. This means that they can help you with submitting your claim and determining your benefits when it comes to insurance.

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