After 3 weeks of waiting, Oia and I finally picked up her new AFO today. It's been at least two months now that she has been walking 'free' without her orthotics. It's time to get back into them.
The new brace is different than her previous pairs. Previous pairs were very limiting in regards to ankle movement, functioned much like a ski boot (but this is the kind of support she has always needed for stability). These pairs kept her ankles positioned at 90 degrees which kept her heels as close to the floor as possible. These are the braces that Oia learned to stand, cruise and walk in. They were life changing.
New AFO is for the right foot. Lefty is a free spirit these days. Lefty has developed enough 'natural' movement that her orthotist felt a brace on that foot would hinder any more natural movements to develope as she grows. Left heel can come to the floor while right heel can not at all. New AFO is different than older versions because it is hinged to allow Oia's ankle more range of motion. She will no longer feel as though she is walking in a ski boot and her gait will not be as heavy in the new, hinged brace; shown below on the right.
Unfortunately, getting shoes to fit over braces is no easy task to say the least and now getting just one shoe to fit is even more of a challenge. Know of any shoe stores that sell only a shoe? We found a shoe (rather a pair of shoes) today to fit over the new brace but they didn't have her size in the store. Imagine that. Waiting on the ordered pair to arrive and then we have to take the right shoe to our local shoe repair shop so that the shoe's velcro straps can be lengthen to fit over the bulk of the brace. Hopefully, if all goes well, she should be peelin' out in her new AFO and shoes by Easter.
Tiniest AFO's in the first picture were Oia's very first pair, worn around 10 months of age.