Temple Times Online Edition
    OCTOBER 28, 2004
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More-comfortable foot brace

Podiatric professor brings silicone brace to the U.S.
and Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine

Photo by: Jeanne Martino
Matthew Hughes and Bob Watts, orthotists at Dorset Orthotics, recently visited the School of Podiatric Medicine for a presentation and workshop on the silicone ankle foot orthosis.

Howard J. Hillstrom, director of the Gait Study Center at the School of Podiatric Medicine, is currently working out the details of an arrangement that will see podiatric physicians at the school casting patients for the silicone ankle foot orthosis.

This new technology, developed by the British company Dorset Orthotics, is designed as an alternative to the more traditional molded ankle foot orthosis. These orthoses are used for the treatment of drop foot, a condition that affects people’s ability to raise their feet at the ankle and is often associated with muscle weakness, numbness and loss of foot function.

“Most patients will be far more comfortable with a silicone orthotic rather than the molded variety,” Hillstrom said. “The SAFO encourages patients to use whatever muscle strength they have, which may prevent the additional atrophy often associated with a molded orthotic, where the muscles aren’t being used at all.”

Hillstrom is also developing a protocol to compare the molded ankle foot orthosis and Dorset’s silicone variety.

- Tory Harris