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Engineering design review of stance-control knee-ankle-foot orthoses

Terris Yakimovich, MASc, et al.

Figure 4. Gravity-activated Fillauer Swing Phase Lock with pawl weighted by mass

People with weakness about their knee often lack the strength to walk safely, since they may stumble or fall when the leg collapses under their own weight. A standard knee-ankle-foot orthosis (KAFO) has been used to prevent knee collapse by locking the knee straight during walking. However, walking with a straight leg can lead to long-term joint injury, causing pain, loss of motion, increased fatigue, and difficulty navigating stairs, slopes, and obstacles. Stance-control KAFOs (SCKAFOs) are a new class of KAFO that stop the knee from collapsing when the foot is on the ground but allow the knee to bend when the leg is off the ground (i.e., when swinging the leg during walking). Many SCKAFO design approaches have been used, each with benefits and limitations. We describe and compare various stance-control approaches that will help veterans select the appropriate KAFO or SCKAFO for their needs.

Volume 46 Number 2, 2009
   Pages 257 — 268

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