Instructables

Improve the Toad Anti-Gravity Foot Brace ("TAG" brace)

Picture of Improve the Toad Anti-Gravity Foot Brace (
2013-03-27 08.55.05.jpg
The Toad Anti-Gravity Foot Brace (or Tag Brace) is an orthotic device made by Toad Medical Corporation. It is advertised to "completely [unload] the foot and ankle complex". It accomplishes this by taking the pressure normally occurring on the sole of the foot and distributing it over the the lower leg.

Our group found the brace very effective at removing pressure from the rear of the foot but largely ineffective at removing pressure from the forefoot.

This project comes as a result of a Capstone project at Brigham Young University. The project was co-sponsored by the university and Pachyonychia Congenita Project, a non-profit that promotes research, advocacy and support for persons with Pachyonychia Congenita (PC), a rare genetic disorder that often involves extremely painful blisters and callouses forming on the soles of the feet. You can learn more abut PC here.


 
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Step 1: Results from brace testing

The brace reduces pressure peaks by 33% compared to a no The brace combined with foam cushions reduces pressure peaks by 77%.

The brace alone leaves little pressure on the foot. The pressure that is experienced is on the forefoot and is about the peak values of this pressure are reduced by about 33% compared to a normal shoe with an insole. The foam insert succeeds in lowering pressure peaks by about 77% by distributing the remaining pressure over the entire plantar surface.

Step 2: Foam Insert

The foam insert is shaped like a wedge to redistribute the force on the fore foot over the entire foot. The top, wedge-shaped layer is memory foam and conforms to the surface of the foot. The lower layers provides a springy support as the user walks.

A more detailed analysis can be found in Appendix B of our formal report.
I have had some very good success with the TAG brace. I have treated heel fracture, Liz Franc fracture, and diabetic ulcer patients. The TAG brace has aloud these patients to heal and maintain a more functional life style. I found more challenges with unloading the forefoot region, but with the addition of a little gait training, I have had good success with heeling wounds around the metatarsal heads. The gait training entailed teaching the patient not to plantar flex from mid to terminal stance. Telling the patient to resist pushing of with their toes seemed to be the key.
Gaitkeeper2710 months ago
Reviewing the article, I see that the study did a good job of showcasing the unloading capability of the Toad brace. Unfortunately, it seems that an older version of the brace was tested and when the brace was ordered, it was not ordered with the forefoot unloading component that Toad applies for those patients requiring unloading of the forefoot. When fit properly, the brace unloads the body weight at the calf. Being that gravity will cause the foot to plantar flex down to the base or "strut", a pad must be utilized to stop the foot from touching the base. This pad also keeps the foot in alignment with the progression of the strut when ambulating. Toad Medical fabricates a rolled mid foot pad that completely unloads the forefoot and has been used for these indications successfully on hundreds of patients. Though the review of the Toad TAG brace is appreciated, we know the results would have been dramatically increased if the newer version was tested, proper pads were utilized, and if the examiners were properly trained on the utilization of the brace.
Im just curious, was this invented before or after portal?