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An ankle foot orthosis (brace) is a rigid or semi-rigid device, which is used for the purpose of supporting a weak or deformed foot or ankle. An ankle foot orthosis can be either prefabricated or custom. 

A custom fabricated brace is one which is individually made for a specific patient starting with basic materials including but not limited to plastic, leather, or cloth in the form of sheets, bars, etc. An impression is made by means of impression casting material, and this impression is then used to make a positive model (of plaster or other material) of the body part.

Dr. Charles F. Birk, DPM, FACFAS, can provide you with a custom fabricated brace made from a negative impression of the foot and leg. The brace is molded over the positive model of the patient’s foot and leg that is prepared from your cast. All components of the brace, including the footplate and uprights, are fully custom.

After a consultation, Dr. Birk will recommend either a hinged (articulating) or solid (non-articulating) device. The type of device prescribed must be appropriate for the condition being treated. For example, you would not prescribe a hinged brace for a drop foot deformity unless some modification was made to the brace to keep the foot upright. An articulating brace is normally ordered for patients with instability from side to side. Solid ankle/foot orthosis (brace) should be prescribed for patients with drop foot conditions or those requiring motion control up and down and side to side.

Dr. Charles Birk is a Diplomate, American Board of Podiatric Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons as well as certified in Ultrasound Diagnositc Technology, and Board Certified in foot surgery. To learn more about ankle and foot braces go to or call 609- 465-1644 for an appointment. Dr. Birk has two locations in Cape May Court House and Beesleys Point, NJ.


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