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Assistive Devices, Technology, and Useful Tips From specially formed eating utensils to power chairs; plus share your suggestions to ease everyday living!

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Old 01-18-2012, 03:06 PM
katvar katvar is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Western Kentucky
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Do you drive while wearing your AFO?

I wear an AFO on my right foot/calf. I wear it pretty much all the time.

Someone mentioned that it is against the law to drive with any type if brace, walking boot, cast.... on your right leg. I was eavesdropping, so I didn't catch all the details - they were talking to someone wearing a walking boot.

Have I been breaking the law? It is challenging to drive at times; but, I am my only source of transportation. Should I be taking this thing on and off to drive?

I use cruise control when possible, live in a small urban area and generally don't go more than 5 miles from the house. Opinions or advice?
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Old 01-21-2012, 05:35 PM
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wkikta wkikta is offline
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Location: Boynton Beach, FL
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The only AFO I have heard of that would be ok to drive with on your Gas Foot is one with a Flexible, Spring Loaded Joint.
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:02 AM
katvar katvar is offline
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Hmmmm... ah oops! That could be challenging. I don't know if I have enough foot strength to drive without it. Anyone else?
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Old 01-23-2012, 02:26 PM
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BobOP BobOP is offline
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Hi Katvar

I do use an AFO on my right leg & do drive with it on...I am able to do that because I drive with a left foot gas pedal in my car.

Before I got it, I was already braking with my left foot & lefting my right leg on & off the gas pedal with my right hand.

The device is pretty neat. It has a toggle pin release so it can be removed easily to be driven normally.

Take Care, Bob
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:06 AM
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quilterella quilterella is offline
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Location: small town south of Ottawa Ontario
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According to my husband, who is a retired MTO, it is a major no no. I have done it, but, I would not to be in an accident while doing so.
He is giving me the lecture on dangerous driving...
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:24 PM

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in wa state i know its against the law, that i know because the dmv told me... if you are wearing one and in an accident and its noted that you have one on you will be held responsable for the accident, the law is not saying you cant drive, just saying you cant driving with a device on your foot.. If you need one of those 24/7 you might want to conscider hand controls
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:45 PM
katvar katvar is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Western Kentucky
Posts: 217
Thank you for the feedback. Taking it on and off isn't really feasible this time of year. I have driven with my left foot and my neuro was aware of it. I have been hoping to put off hand controls a while longer, but it seems inevitable. Any advice on getting the hang of using them or a certain type that are better?
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Old 01-30-2012, 01:01 PM
HouseOfCards HouseOfCards is offline
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AFO for 9 years

Don't know about the law, but I've been driving with an AFO on my right foot for 9 years. I brake with my left foot and use the gas pedal with my right.
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Old 01-30-2012, 03:20 PM
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jbell2435 jbell2435 is offline
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Location: Southern California
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Good post and question! I got my AFO last October (r calf/foot) and have been driving every day. Weekends I usually don't put it on to run to the store and I notice I actually drive better with it on.

I do have one with hinges/spring loaded at the ankle, but still can't extend my foot down.

Would love to hear from others on this or if anyone knows CA laws??
Prob MS 9-14-04; Dx PPMS 9-16-11; RRMS 12-15-11
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:31 PM

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My PT encouraged me to use them for driving

Interesting! I was encouraged by my PT to wear my AFOs when driving. Mine are both hinged (as someone mentioned earlier), because I still have range of movement. I actually feel more confident wearing them when driving b/c I know that if my feet start to feel weak (foot drop), it won't interfere with my using the pedals. Plus, I like to use cruise control quite often.

Never even thought of anyone considering it to be dangerous. I would think that would only be if your AFO was not hinged.
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:25 AM
nappy nappy is offline
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Location: NE Ohio
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I have bilateral AFOs and still drive.

I am alright as long as I don't drive longer distances. If I do, I have trouble maintaining my speed as my foot and ankle get fatigued and I don't continue to press the pedal.

Sometimes coming home from work after a long day, I notice my speed decreasing and need to readjust and concentrate.

I never thought about it being illegal. My neuro always asks about if I have any concerns about driving. We have discussed the issue of muscle fatigue- so she is aware.

But I can see an issue with driving with a boot or cast. They seem pretty bulking and not flexible.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:18 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 3
Driving with AFO and not sure what to do

I have been driving with an AFO on my right foot for years without any problems. Recently had a bad exacerbation and now need a walker and was told I should not be driving. According to the DMV it is more of a legal liability than anything. Her recommendation was to come in to the DVM and retake my test with the AFO. If I pass the test I can have an endorsement on my licence saying it is safe. OR I can go through occupational therapy and have my driving tested. I just am not sure what to do. Any suggestions? Is driving with a left footed gas pedal hard to get used to?
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:50 PM
gomer gomer is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Mich. RRMS 1/26/2010
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I have been driving with AFOs since 2007 (years before my formal MS Dx), NO problem.

My first AFOs were too tall, came up into my calf area, and hard to walk or drive. I complained and they shortened them and work great for both walking (limited) and driving. With proper fitting AFOs, mine are Arizona Boots (both feet) I have NOT had any problems driving. I also wear special diabetic shoes and they are sized for use with my AFOs.

My fam doc used to passively check (feeling my lower leg, to make sure I WAS wearing them. All my docs know I wear AFOs and no one ahs even asked or mentioned anything about driving, let alone legality with MY AFOs.

Gomer Sir Falls-a-lot
(in Michigan)
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:28 AM
dkp dkp is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Stephentown, NY
Posts: 4

Hi.....Foot drop was one of my first symptoms leading to a diagnosis of SPMS in 2009. At that time, my neuro recommended an AFO. It goes up the front of my calf and under the foot. It was difficult to go up or down the slightest incline or decline. So, I have not used it for 2 years.

Now, my knee hyperextends (bends backward) in addition to the foot drop. A physiatrist prescribed another AFO which requires casting the leg and foot; then the AFO is made. This AFO goes up the back of the leg and under the foot and up the sides of the foot. It has some flex at the ankle.

If anyone wears this type of AFO, I would love to hear from you. It helps or not? Is it comfortable, ESP in summer, or not? Do you drive with it on, esp. in the warmer months, if the right foot has the AFO?

Thanks so much for all inputs!
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:24 AM
thelegendlc thelegendlc is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 49
Hand Controls

I find it hard to believe that out of all these posts nobody has mentioned "hand controls." I drove for a number of years with a single AFO. However, it was on my left foot. I really can't imagine trying to drive with an AFO on my right foot. Today, I do have an AFO on each foot. I am able to drive with no problems due to the use of hand controls. To obtain hand controls you need to have a doctor's prescription. Also, you need a trained individual (usually an OT) to teach you how to drive using the hand controls. Finally, I believe in nearly every state you must retake your behind the wheel drivers test.
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