Since 2008, I have had difficulties with my gait due to muscle weakness caused by a neurological problem. Symptoms included foot drop, weak ankle, and general instability in standing. Although I was assisted by physical therapy, my leg was unable to regain strength and I needed an ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) for support when I walked. In the last six years, I was prescribed a number of AFOs. They were either too flimsy, too difficult to put on and take off, hard to get in any type of shoe, or just plain uncomfortable. Believe me, I really tried to make these devices work. I even ordered braces over the internet, tried them out, and promptly sent them back. The brace that I used before contacting Ritchie Limb and Brace was custom-made, but it tended to crack and was heavy to wear.
I decided to make a number of “cold calls” to orthotics companies in the San Antonio area to inquire about custom-made carbon fiber braces. Through my research, I found that carbon fiber AFOs were more durable, lighter, and provided more support. The issue was, NOBODY in San Antonio did this type of work! I was always offered “off the shelf” braces that did not address my problem. I had to find a provider that was covered by my insurance and after several hours of contact, I called and spoke to Mr. David Ritchie with Ritchie Limb and Brace. To my surprise (other companies always passed me off to a secretary or therapist), Mr. Ritchie took the time to listen to me and give me hope that something could be done for me. Although he was located in Seguin, my wife and I felt it was worth the drive.
When we met Mr. Ritchie, he immediately put us at ease and listened to my concerns and needs. He never offered anything “off the shelf”. He analyzed my gait and said he could fabricate something in a custom-made, carbon fiber, AFO. That day of my first visit, he took a mold of my leg and asked that I give him a couple of weeks to fabricate the brace. My appointment for pick-up happened to be on an icy morning. We still went!
The AFO fit perfectly! It was easy to put on and take off. It was light and fit into my shoe very easily. Better still, I could walk well and with good balance. Mr. Ritchie did a great job in analyzing my needs and made me a good, strong, and light AFO. I have had my brace for over two months, it fits into all my shoes and allows me to be on my feet longer. I am very, very happy with my new AFO.
The staff at Ritchie Limb and Brace go out of their way to make their clients feel comfortable. They are friendly, patient, and knowledgeable about insurance. From the time we walked through the door to the time we left, my wife and I were always well-treated and listened to. No matter the drive from San Antonio (and other locales), the service provided by Mr. Ritchie and his staff makes the travel well worth it!
— AL CURIEL