Effect of a Knee-Ankle-Foot Orthosis on Knee Kinematics and Kinetics in an Individual with Varus Knee Alignment

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Abstract

Background

Knee valgus braces are used to reduce knee load and varus deformities in individuals with medial compartment osteoarthritis (OA). The purpose of this study was to determine whether the kinematics and kinetics of the knee are improved when wearing a knee-ankle-foot orthosis (KAFO) compared with knee valgus braces while walking and stair climbing.

Materials and Methods

One male individual (with 10° of knee varus) was assessed with a control shoe, custom, and off-the-shelf (OTS) Unloader knee valgus braces, and a custom-made KAFO in situ during walking and stair climbing.

Results

The KAFO significantly reduced the knee varus angle compared with the shoe and both knee valgus braces during walking and stair climbing, as well as the first peak of the external knee adduction moment (EKAM) during walking and the knee adduction angular impulse (KAAI) during ascending compared with the shoe. No significant differences were noted between the custom and OTS knee valgus braces in any measures.

Conclusions

Knee-ankle-foot orthoses may be recommended for individuals with high knee varus angles.

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