My left leg, below the knee, is completely paralyzed. The calf / foot muscles are completely atrophied. This injury requires me to wear a rigid AFO (ankle-foot orthotic) to walk. I also wear the AFO inside my ski boot for support (and to fill the ski boot because of the atrophied muscles). Obviously wearing a rigid brace inside my ski boot makes it impossible to flex or to roll my ankle.
I love to race when skiing. Using NASTAR's scoring system, my handicap is generally around a 45 (45% slower then the 0% pace-setter). I'm in the "back-seat" a lot when I ski and my curve technique is almost nil - mostly skidding and scraping.
Here's my questions: Do you think switching to a hinged AFO would help me? By a hinged AFO, I mean an orthotic that allows the ankle to bend forward and backward.
Or should I continue skiing with a rigid brace (I already know this works), but change the angle my ankle is immobilized from approximately 82 degrees (what I'm currently using) to something like 75 degrees? I think this would help get me lower to the ground and center me better on the ball of my foot allowing me to use the shovel of the ski instead of "floating" it.
This is probably a really weird question for this forum because I'm not sure how common it is for someone with a paralyzed leg who likes to race. My goal is to get my handicap down to the mid 25s. Thanks for any advice!