In 1990, Nicole Toalton suffered from a stroke at the young age of 23, affecting her entire right side. Nicole wore a brace for approximately one year after her stroke but then discontinued wear. She felt like she was too young to wear a brace and felt like it made her more handicapped than what she was.
It has been almost 18 years since Nicole’s stroke and many things have changed for Nicole in that time. Her walking has begun to tire her out more than it used to. She notices she can’t go for as long a distances and she struggles with hip pain on her right side.
Nicole was introduced to an Ultraflex employee one day when walking outside our office in Pottstown. After a brief conversation, Nicole agreed to make an appointment for an evaluation to see if Ultraflex could help her. She scheduled an evaluation at our research patient care center with Taffy Bowman, CPO and it was determined that she was an excellent candidate for an UltraSafeStep™ (USS) AFO. Nicole’s physician was consulted and agreed that Nicole would benefit from an AFO and prescribed a USS AFO for her.
Nicole was casted and measured for a custom USS AFO and after fabrication, was fit with her custom brace. The AFO was fabricated using custom composites to keep the orthosis lightweight, yet rigid, to facilitate most effective translation of the brace mechanics to the patient’s limb.
Unlike many traditional components, the USS AFO offers Nicole the ability to maintain ROM while walking, yet dynamically restrains the motion to make her feel secure in the stability it provides. The Adjustable Dynamic Response™ has been adjusted to suit Nicole’s individual needs.
Almost immediately upon walking with her new AFO, Nicole made the comment that her hip wasn’t hurting anymore. Clinically it was noted she walked with an increased cadence, improved heel strike vs. forefoot contact in initial stance and decreased recurvatum at midstance after being fit with her USS AFO.
Nicole continues to make improvements in her walking abilities and reports that she has noticed she can walk faster and doesn’t tire as easily while wearing her brace. She currently wears her USS AFO for about 60 hours a week and is sure to never leave home without it!
View Video of Nicole walking