When you are dealing with conditions like arthritis, back pain, bursitis, flat feet, hammer toes, heel spurs, diabetes, drop foot, etc., an ankle-foot orthotic device can provide tremendous relief. These devices are intended to help correct foot deformities, provide support, help promote better foot or ankle function, and/or reduce the risk of injuries. 

But which ankle-foot orthotic is right for you? There is a confusing variety available - and you want to find the right one to ensure positive results without suffering further damage. Let’s take a look at some key differences to help you make your choice. 

You’re a parent: you want the best for your child. It’s just how we are! When your child has a limb difference and uses a prosthetic device, though, you encounter a very different set of challenges than most other parents. While there is no reason your child cannot have a happy life full of adventures and opportunities, it does take adjustment. School can be a source of stress - or a source of support. What do you need to know to set your child up for success? 

If you are adjusting to life with a prosthetic, we want you to know this: You are not alone. It may feel like it. You may feel isolated. You may feel frustrated and scared. You may feel like your entire life has been upended - and, in many ways, it has. This is all normal; it is all healthy; it is all part of your adjustment process. And you do not have to travel that path on your own. Finding a peer support group can provide an incredible source of comfort, support, and strength as you navigate your new normal.

When your child needs an orthopedic brace or prosthetic, a thousand thoughts and emotions are racing through your mind. You may be worried, sad, frustrated, confused, overwhelmed, and even angry. Your child shouldn’t have to struggle; they shouldn’t have to give up favorite activities or feel “different” from their peers. The good news is that when they are fitted with the proper brace or prosthetic, they won’t. They’ll live full, healthy, and happy lives - just like kids should.

For parents, though, the question is how to start the process? Where do you turn for help? Research is a critical step; not only will you get the answers you need; you’ll empower yourself and equip yourself with the tools to help your child through this challenging time.