FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What makes the Richie brace Superior?
Compared to other ankle-foot orthoses ( AFO’s) the Richie Brace® is easy to fit into shoes, lightweight and comfortable. The fit of the brace to the patient is assured to be accurate and effective each and every time due to a proprietary fabrication technique which has been refined over 20 years of service to the industry.

The Richie Brace® podiatric orthotic laboratories displayed on this web site have trained client service personnel who can help you with every aspect of Richie Brace® treatment from providing casting instructions, clinical indications as well as coding and reimbursement information. Much of this information is also contained in this website, however, you will need to make initial contact with a Richie Brace® podiatric laboratory partner to determine shipping and pricing information. 

All of the Richie Brace® laboratory partners are premium custom orthotic labs with stellar reputations in the biomechanics community. All of the labs are certified by the Prescription Foot Orthoics Laboratory Association. Each have their own unique line of custom foot orthotics which are commonly necessary as an accompanying treatment for patients using the Richie Brace®. Therefore, the quality and pricing of the Richie Brace® will be consistent for all the lab partners. The choice of lab for purchase will depend upon the individual practitioner’s needs in terms of foot orthotics, client services, shipping policies etc. 

What kind of turnaround time can I expect? 
Our lab distributors should be able to provide a custom Richie Brace® product to the ordering doctor within 2 weeks of receiving the cast. Rush orders for additional charge can reduce turnaround time to less than one week.

How do I know if my patient is a candidate for the Richie Brace®?
Review the clinical indications outlined on this website. If your patient does not fit into one of the distinct categories, or if there are special considerations such as body weight, paralysis etc. then call the client service department of any of the Richie Brace® lab partners

How durable is the brace?  Do you have repair or replacement capabilities?
The plastic shell materials of the Richie Brace® can be expected to maintain useful function for three to five years of daily use. There is a limited warranty against breakage. The soft components which include limb support pads and Velcro straps will require replacement as often as once yearly. A refurbishment kit can be provided by the lab distributor for quick replacement of these parts in the clinic setting.

What are the best shoes to wear for different activities?
The Richie Brace® products function best in lace-up athletic shoes but can be won in some loafer style shoes, “Mary Jane” style womens dress shoes and even in sandals as long as there are straps across the forefoot and around the heel.

Can the Richie Brace® be used for sports activity?
The Richie Brace® was originally designed for sports applications. Dr. Richie, a practicing sports podiatrist, had encountered difficulty fitting his patients with ankle braces while allowing the patient to continue wearing the custom foot orthotic he had prescribed. Still today, there is no ankle brace that fits or functions properly with a custom foot orthotic footbed inside an athletic shoe. Moreover, most popular ankle braces do not fit in shoes well and do not support the foot. Thus, the Richie Brace® was born: a form fitted custom ankle brace that incorporates a foot orthotic. This brace is ideally suited to treat lateral ankle instability, tendon injuries around the ankle joint, and aid in recovery from Grade II and III ankle ligamentous injuries. The Richie Brace® has been used by many collegiate, professional and Olympic athletes with remarkable success.

What L code do I use?  Is it reimbursable?
The Standard Richie Brace is reimbursed using code L 1970 and code L 2820. For a complete listing of all L Codes relevant to the family of Richie Braces, please see the Reimbursement section of the Richie Brace website.

I sent a cast to you 2 weeks ago, where is it?
Please contact the lab distributor who you shipped the cast to. If you cannot reach them, please get back to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and provide the name of your lab distributor.

How do I order this thing, I can't find order forms on your website?
You will need to open up an account with us. Please give us your contact information at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.: Name, e-mail and telephone number, one of our distributors can contact you to set up an account. They can provide you with prescription forms, reimbursement forms, pricing, warranty and shipping information.

What is the warranty and can I find that on the site?
Any of our lab distributors can provide you details of pricing and warranties regarding all of the Richie Brace® products. You can choose and contact a distributor by visiting our lab distributor page on the Richie Brace website. Or, we can have a distributor contact you. Please write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.and provide your e-mail address, city where you reside and your zip code. You will hear back from one of our distributors with a suggested referral.

Can I talk to Dr Richie about a specific case I have before I decide what to order for them?
Of course please write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and provide your e-mail address, city where you reside and your zip code. Please indicate that you would like Dr. Richie to contact you regarding a patient consultation. Also, please include the name of the lab distributor whom you will be ordering the brace from.

Can I stock the off the shelf brace in a few sizes or do I have to buy them from you?
All of our Richie Brace® products, including the off-the –shelf devices must be ordered from any of our authorized lab distributors. You can choose and contact a distributor by visiting our lab distributor page on the Richie Brace website. Or, we can have a distributor contact you. Please write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and provide your e-mail address, city where you reside and your zip code. You will hear back from one of our distributors with a suggested referral.

Can I return unused off the shelf for a full credit?
All of our Richie Brace® products, including the off-the –shelf devices must be ordered from any of our authorized lab distributors. They can provide with complete details of pricing and return policies. You can choose and contact a distributor by visiting our lab distributor page on the Richie Brace website. Or, we can have a distributor contact you. Please write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and provide your e-mail address, city where you reside and your zip code. You will hear back from one of our distributors with a suggested referral.

Can you send me samples of custom braces so I can show a patient?
Because of the cost of fabrication, and unique features of each Richie Brace® product, samples are not available for practitioners. However, the Richie Brace® website is full of photographs and patient videos which can provide a good representation of each product for your patient to review.

Can I be a distributor and you list me on your website?
Inquiries regarding our distributor program should be sent to : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Why do I have to go through a Lab Distributor, I want to send the Brace directly to Richie Brace?
The authorized Richie Brace® lab distributors provide a vital role in providing all of the Richie Brace® products to qualified practitioners. From start to finish, the distributor can walk you thru the casting process, the prescription requirements, shipping information, pricing, warranty as well as coding and reimbursement consultation. Along the way, essential quality control measures are provided by the distributor to assure that the incoming cast and final product meet the essential requirements to assure a positive patient outcome. Our distributors are a direct source for all of the Richie Brace® products, with a delivery system streamlined to fill your order in an efficient and timely manner. You can choose and contact a distributor by visiting our lab distributor page on the Richie Brace website. Or, we can have a distributor contact you. Please write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and provide your e-mail address, city where you reside and your zip code. You will hear back from one of our distributors with a suggested referral.

 

Questions your patient may ask: 

Will this save me from surgery or just delay it?
For Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction (Adult Acquired Flatfoot) studies have shown that at least 50% of patients can avoid surgery by wearing a custom AFO device such as the Richie Brace®.

Should I use one on each foot to make my gait equal on both sides?  As a preventative measure?Most Richie Brace® prescriptions are for one foot only although some conditions require bilateral ( both feet) braces. When only one foot is wearing the brace, the other foot should be supported with either a foot orthotic or a heel lift of similar height as the Richie Brace®.

“My ankles just feel a little unstable during sports.  Should I use the Richie brace as a preventative measure?  For added support?  Protection?
Studies have shown that bracing can be very effective in preventing ankle sprains, especially in sports such as basketball, football and soccer.

If I use the Richie brace during sports as a preventative measure, will it hinder my performance? 
Studies have shown that ankle bracing has minimal, if any negative effects on athletic performance. Also, contrary to popular belief, ankle bracing does not cause weakness of the muscles around the ankle. Instead, muscle strength actually increases with ankle bracing.

I'm a runner, can I run in the brace? - Can I play sports with this brace on?
Many patients have been able to run and play sports with the Richie Brace. Of course, this will depend on your particular medical condition.

I have tried other braces and had a lot of skin irritation.  What can I expect from a Richie brace?
The Richie Brace® is probably the most comfortable custom ankle-foot orthosis on the market today. Occasionally, patients will develop a “hot spot” or skin irritation which can be quickly remedied with an adjustment in the practioner’s office.

If I get casted for this brace how long will it take before my doctor gives it to me?
It takes approximately three weeks from the time of casting of the patient for the finished custom Richie Brace to be returned to the practioner, when it can be fitted and dispensed to the patient.

How long will I need to be in the Richie brace?
For some conditions such as Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction, the average length of brace use is approximately one year. For other conditions such as dropfoot, the brace will be worn for a lifetime. Other conditions such as tendinditis or arthritis will vary in the length of time of brace use from a few months to seveal years.

Do I need to buy new shoes in a bigger size?
No, the unique advantage of the Richie Brace® compared to other custom AFO devices is the fact that this brace does not require an increase in shoe size. This holds true for any shoe which has a removable liner. By removing the liner, there is plenty of room to insert the Richie Brace® without compromising fit.

Is the Richie Brace® difficult to put on and take off?
No, the unique strap closure system of the Richie Brace® products allows simple application compared to other AFO devices. Basically, a single back strap must be opened and closed when fitting the Richie Brace®. For people who have difficulty feeding the back strap thru the slot in the limb upright, a modification is available which provides a long strap which is wrapped around the lower leg.

My velcro straps are worn out can I order these from you? - My padding is worn out, how do I get new padding?
Any modification, refurbishment or replacement of worn parts of the Richie Brace® must be provided by a qualified practitioner. You should contact the practitioner who provided the original Richie Brace®. If you cannot locate that practitioner, we can provide you with a referral to a practitioner who has experience with the Richie Brace®. Please write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and provide your e-mail address, city where you reside and your zip code. You will hear back from one of our distributors with a suggested referral.

Where do I go to have my Richie Brace® repaired or refurbished?
Take the brace back to the doctor or clinic who originally provided your Richie Brace®. They should be able to replace the pads and straps in-house using the special Richie Brace® refurbishment kit.