AFO's (Leg Braces)

Is anyone with CMT using the new PHAT Braces? They were recommended for me and I just wanted to hear from someone who may be using them and how they are working out.

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I don't have the PHAT braces, but I have an appointment to get the Helios braces next month, and I'd also like to hear from anyone who uses these and if they're worth the expensive price! Thanks!

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I got the Helios braces two years ago. With the braces on I can walk three miles. Without the braces I can walk 1/2 a block. I had Ritchie braces before the Helios and kept breaking the right one. The braces definitly help me with being able to accomplish more during the day. It does take a while to get use to them. It is difficult to wear them in the summer when it is so hot, but that is true of all braces. I have trouble with my feet swelling in the heat and then the orthotics are too small and very painful.

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I spoke with a Neurologist and Physical Therapist about getting the Heilos braces and they both recommended the PHAT braces because they felt the cost and therapeutic effects of this type of brace was better for CMT patients. They are $1800. each. You could check out their web site at for a comparison.

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For katbirdinoregon, who has Helios braces: This may be a silly question, but I've never had braces before, so I'm not sure quite what to expect, but do you find that you always need to wear socks under the Helios, or, in summer when it's hot, can you wear the Helios just with a securely strapped sandal and no socks? Do you find that they help a lot with your balance? What else should I know about them, or do have any advice as I go in for my appointment? Did insurance cover yours, and if so, who was your carrier and did you need to go through the appeal process?

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Sorry, Micheleroses....I didn't mean to hijack your discussion/question about PHAT braces! I just was interested in speaking with someone who has Helios....

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I can only wear my Helios with New Balance model 926. The Helios comes clear up to just under the knee cap. They are the most comfortable if I wear them on top of my slacks. Of course that makes them very obvious. At this point in my life I am more interested in comfort and energy level than I am with fashion. I do wear them under my slacks for church. My insurance partially covered the braces. I got a discount for participating in the study at the University in Las Vegas.

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I have had the Helios braces since May 2010. They are rugged and comfortable after I added a little padding of my own.
Rugged is good because I am over 6 ft. and 240 lb.
However, the newly available PHAT brace appears to be a lot cheaper.
So, reading some patient testimonials about the PHAT brace might be a good idea.

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Thank you, Patches995. What kind of padding were you able to add to the Helios? Do they come with any padding, or is your foot directly on the carbon graphite orthotic when you walk?

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The Helios is black and comes with a very durable closed-cell foam rubber
padding if needed (mostly under the arch and at the knee). I cut some gel insoles
to fit under the heel and arch only because I have very high arches.

The closed-cell foam rubber padding at the knee tended to irritate my shins,
so I got some sheepskin padding and contact-cemented it right over
the foam padding. I don't cinch the strap at the knee too tight and don't use the lower
strap at all because my shoe holds the brace in place.

I wear the Helios 12 to 16 hrs. a day with no
discomfort other than a little hot in the summer.

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