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01/30/2015    

RESPONSES/COMMENTS (ENEWS STORIES)



From: Doug Richie, DPM


 


A few clarifications are needed regarding the post about the recent study published on AFO bracing and balance. Contrary to the statement made on PM News, the study cited did NOT show improvement on all balance-related assessments. The maximum reach distance and the Timed Up and Go tests did not show any improvements when the AFO brace was worn. Furthermore, the promotional marketing for the Moore Balance Brace focuses on using this device for patients with documented musculoskeletal pathologies, which would make the prescription legal according to Medicare guidelines. The study cited, however, utilized subjects who had "no significant foot pathologies", and therefore do not represent the presumed target population who would benefit from so-called falls prevention bracing. It simply verifies what we have already learned from many studies on ankle bracing which show improvements in simple balance tasks when braces are worn.


 


Along with many other AFO manufacturers, I recommend caution in promoting any AFO brace for preventing falls in high-risk populations until quality prospective clinical studies are carried out to verify the safety and efficacy of this treatment.


 


Disclosure: Dr. Richie is inventor of the Richie Brace.


 


Doug Richie, DPM, Seal Beach, CA

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