The Iowa Brace was developed at the University of Iowa as an extension of Dr. Ponseti’s egalitarian efforts to ensure that children across the world would have access to the best clubfoot brace, regardless of their economic or social circumstances.
The combination of innovation and humanitarian considerations allows the Iowa Brace to be affordable for all families, everywhere.
The Iowa Brace is worn to maintain a clubfoot correction and to prevent recurrence (relapse) of clubfoot after the foot has been fully corrected using the Ponseti method. Children wear the brace on both feet even if they only have one clubfoot. The shoes are positioned to turn out 60-degrees for a corrected clubfoot, and 30-degrees for a normal foot.
Its essential design also provides the ideal complement to the Ponseti Method and prevents the recurrence of clubfoot. The enhanced features on the Iowa Brace include a secured buckle that cannot be easily removed by children and a reinforced locking tab so that the child cannot remove the bar from the boots. The Iowa Flexbar is made of durable and flexible plastic that allows the child to kick for additional comfort while wearing the brace. This movement also helps the child stretch and strengthen the affected tendons and muscles.
Children born with clubfoot suffer tremendous physical and emotional pain. The birth defect twists and turns children’s feet into unnatural positions that make walking close to impossible. Shame, fear, isolation – these are the reality for clubfoot children and their families because the misunderstanding and fear of the birth defect is pervasive. Thanks to the late Dr. Ignacio Ponseti clubfoot children don’t have to suffer a life of pain and disability. More than sixty years ago Dr. Ponseti at the University of Iowa Health Care pioneered the life changing, noninvasive method that corrects clubfoot and gives clubfoot children the freedom to run, walk and live a normal, pain-free life! The Ponseti Method utilizes a series of gentle manipulations, castings and bracing to correct clubfoot. It has been a game changer for the world’s most prevalent orthopedic birth defect that impacts 200,000 children each year. Clubfoot Solutions, provides the Iowa Brace an effective, comfortable and durable clubfoot brace to children in the developing world.
Parts of the Iowa Brace
The Iowa Brace consists of the following parts:
- One pair of clubfoot brace shoes (left and right)
- Two platforms (one for each shoe)
- Two plugs (one for each platform)
- Four screws (two for each platform)
- One Iowa Flexbar
- Two release keys
Each shoe has an AFO insert, a tongue, and straps with enhanced buckles. The open-toe design allows room for the foot 12 (See sizing chart on page 15) platforms can be used with either a left or right shoe. The platforms have two slots on the sides that allow you to set the angle of the shoes when the Iowa Flexbar is inserted into the slot. The locking tab on the underside of the platforms prevents children from releasing the bar. Clubfoot Solutions provides a brace release key to unlock and release the Iowa Flexbar from the platform. Platforms come in three sizes. The small platforms are for shoe sizes 000-3, and the medium platforms for sizes 4-9, and the large platforms for sizes 10-12.The plugs that come with the platforms are used after you set the angle to prevent the brace from being locked with the shoes at the wrong angle. The screws that come with the platforms are used to connect the platforms to the Iowa Brace shoes. The brace release key makes it easier to unlock the platforms from the bar.
The Iowa Flexbar has a built-in angle of 15 degrees of dorsiflexion on each end. When the child is wearing the brace, the ends of the Iowa Flexbar point up, towards the knees. The Iowa Flexbar comes in three lengths. Although the choice of bar length is at the discretion of the supervising healthcare provider, suggested bar lengths for different shoe sizes are as follows:
- Shoe sizes 000 through 3 : 8 inch bar
- Shoe sizes 4 through 6 : 10 inch bar
- Shoe sizes 7 through 9 : 12 inch bar
The platforms can be used with either a left or right shoe. The platforms have two slots on the sides that allow you to set the angle of the shoes when the Iowa Flexbar is inserted into the slot. The locking tab on the underside of the plat-forms prevents children from releasing the bar. Clubfoot Solutions provides a brace release key to unlock and release the Iowa Flexbar from the platform. Platforms come in two sizes. The small platforms are for shoe sizes 000–3 and the large platforms are for shoe sizes 4–9.The plugs that come with the platforms are used after you set the angle to prevent the brace from being locked with the shoes at the wrong angle. The screws that come with the platforms are used to connect the platforms to the Iowa Brace shoes. The brace release key makes it easier to unlock the platforms from the bar.
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Iowa Brace Unboxing and Parts
Iowa Brace Assembly Instructions
Iowa Brace, Fit the Brace, Put the Brace on, Take the Brace off
WARNING: The Iowa Brace is designed and intended to be used with children whose clubfoot has been fully corrected with the Ponseti method. Do not use the brace with a child who has a partially corrected clubfoot or a relapsed clubfoot, as this may result in pain and injury to the child.If any part of the Iowa Brace (shoe, straps, platform, plugs, screws, or the Iowa Flexbar) fails, malfunctions, or is damaged, do not used the damaged part. For information about the warranty, replacement, and return policy, visit http://www.clubfootsolutions.org/ or contact Clubfoot Solutions.
If wearing the Iowa Brace results in skin irritation or blisters for the child or other adverse effects that cannot be corrected through proper use of the Iowa Brace (see also, “Troubleshooting”, below), consult the child’s doctor or the healthcare professional supervising the care of the child.
Brochures and promotionals
Iowa Brace Size Guide
Clubfoot Solutions Glossary
Iowa Brace Healthcare Professional User Guide
Bracing Tips Endorsed by the Ponseti International Association
Iowa Brace Sales Brochure (Trifold)
Laces for Braces Sales Brochure (Trifold)
A Complete Clubfoot Solution - Sales Brochure