unique orthopaedic devices

Step-On becomes AFO of choice for GBS patient


Peter is a 67 year old patient with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), who was first diagnosed with the condition 13 years ago. This rare neurological disorder (affects about 1 person in 100,000 each year) in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks part of its peripheral nervous system.

Peter initially visited his GP with unexplained “pins and needles” and then devastatingly, 6 days later was admitted to ICU at his local hospital with complete paralysis from his neck down!

6 months later after an extensive programme of neuro-rehabilitation from a dedicated group of Physios and OT’s, Peter was discharged from hospital and allowed to return home.

GBS has left Peter with bi-lateral foot drop and has been a long term user of AFO’s, in fact over the years he has used up to 7 different AFO’s to aid his mobility.

Peter’s Orthotist was keen to try another AFO solution which could take advantage of the available ROM from his good ankle function. Step-On 100LH was considered to be a viable option for 3 main reasons;

– Its articulated hinge allows ROM up to 22° DF and 11° PF.

– The Lateral Hinge (LH) version (in combination with an in-sole) would help control his excessively pronating ankles.

– The adjustable DF assist would allow precise adjustment to aid optimal gait biomechanics.

The Polypropylene shell also allowed the AFO to be modified by the technician to overcome initial rubbing on his prominent malleoli.

Peter has worn his Step-On AFO for over 12 months and it has become his AFO of choice mainly due to its articulating ankle joint accommodating his good ankle function. It has helped him walk with an improved gait pattern, feeling less likely to fall and interestingly it provides more comfort for driving his car too!

Please click on the video below of Peter walking with and without his Step-On AFO. It is noticeable how he walks steadier, with greater confidence (less fear of falling) and improved gait with his AFO.