FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

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®. Wearing the Richie Brace after ankle sprains and other foot injuries will support the foot and ankle, allowing for faster healing times.

Will this brace work for me?
We cannot provide medical advice or suggest treatment options for your medical condition. However, we can provide you with a referral to a practitioner who has experience with the Richie Brace®. Please click here for more information

Can I talk to someone who has one?
Due to legal requirements for confidentiality, we do not give out the names of patients who are wearing a Richie Brace®. However, our website has many testimonials, both in writing and in video format, which attest to the success of the Richie Brace® products.

Can I buy these in a store, I want to try it on first?
All Richie Brace® devices must be prescribed and fitted by qualified medical professionals. You can ask your current doctor if they can prescribe and cast you for a Richie Brace®. If not, we can provide you with a referral to a practitioner who has experience with the Richie Brace®. Please click here for more information.

Where can I go to see these in person before I commit to buying one?
The Richie Brace® website is full of photos and videos of the various brace models. Your insurance may cover the cost of the Richie Brace®. You will need to ask your doctor for a prescription. If your doctor is not familiar with the Richie Brace®, we can provide you with a referral to a practitioner who has experience with the Richie Brace®. Please  click here for more information.

Which Doctor should I choose?
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. 

My mom (dad,son etc) was given a prescription for a Richie Brace can I order from you, where do I go?
The Richie Brace® must be fabricated from a custom cast impression taken from the patient’s foot and ankle. This service must be provided by a qualified practitioner. We can provide you with a referral to a practitioner who has experience with the Richie Brace®. Please click here for more information.

How do I know if I am 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. 

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®.

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.

“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, ankle strains and other foot and ankle injuries, especially in sports such as basketball, football and soccer.

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 except the Richie Brace. 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.

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.

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 have tried other braces and had a lot of skin irritation.  What can I expect from a Richie brace?
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. 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.

How long will I need to be in the Richie brace?
For some conditions such as Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction, PTTD, 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 ankle tendinditis or arthritis will vary in the length of time of brace use from a few months to seveal years. The Richie Brace is durable and easily reconditioned for long term use. 

I need help adjusting my brace which does not fit” or..”I need to get my brace fixed”…and “I cannot find the practitioner who originally provided the brace”…i.e: - I can't go back there - He/she retired - I moved, now what do i do?
We will try to find you a new practitioner who has experience with the Richie Brace®. Please click here for more information.

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.

What are the best shoes to wear for different activities?
The Richie Brace® products function best in lace-up athletic shoes but can be worn 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.

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 click here for more information.

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.

I have re-located and need to find a new doctor to evaluate my Richie Brace®. Can you provide a referral?
Yes, we can provide you with a referral. Please use the referral section on the Richie Brace website.