DRAFO - Materials

- Materials - Casting Instructions (PDF) - Fitting Guide (PDF)


Materials utilized to fabricate the DRAFO® are unique orthotics and prosthetics (O & P) materials.  However, their utilization in conjunction with each other is new to the industry.  The inner-shell, which is a flexible, rubbery consistency, is created utilizing a unique molding technique.  


The importance of this material pertains to its flexibility over boney prominences.  Its skin-friendly characteristics and the fact that that the inner shell is smooth is vital because it reduces friction.  The finished thickness of the material needs to be set carefully in order to provide the correct flexibility for relief of boney prominences, while also having enough rigidity to maintain the specific alignment of the calcaneous.  The outer-shell, or frame, can be made up of different materials, ranging from polypropylene or copolymer to a carbon fiber material which is molded to the orthotic device.  The rigid frame design provides openings over the medial and/or lateral maleoli, navicular, calcaneous and the belly of the gastrocs.  Forefoot posting incorporates the use of Morton's extension or plantar flexed, 1st ray trim-lines.  These trim-lines are also utilized to manipulate terminal stance at the point where the third rocker of the foot is initialized.  The inner-shell is free-floating in the frame for easy adjustability.  The inner-shell can be removed for a spot adjustment or to adjust the outer-shell.  The shells are held in place with a strapping system that is attached to the outer, rigid frame.  It utilizes a dynamic-pull ankle strap which can derotate the hind-foot and mid-foot from an eversion, or an inversion moment, depending on the side of attachment.  It also has a forefoot strap which stabilizes and derotates the forefoot and holds it in alignment with the hind-foot.  Based on the height of the orthotic device and the size of the patient, the proximal calf straps can number anywhere from one to four.  Straps are made of Velcro or Velcro sewn to Dacron.  Key placement of the openings over the maleoli can be used in place of a chafe, reducing bulk and dynamic lock-down of the hind-foot into the orthotic device.  This is critical to prevent pistoning within the device and to maintain anatomical alignment.  Due to the range of materials that can be utilized, you can dial in the type of flexibility required for the patients’ functional level.  Thinner copolymer allows the device to be flexible.  Using the carbon fiber allows the device to be very rigid.


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