Feasibility of a Powered Knee Joint in Providing Stance and Swing Phase Knee Flexion when Using a Knee-Ankle-Foot Orthosis

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BackgroundThe aim of this study was to develop a new stance control knee-ankle-foot orthosis (SCKAFO) and determine its efficacy on specific spatiotemporal and kinematic parameters.MethodSeven healthy volunteer subjects participated in this study. After orthotic gait training, subjects participated in a four-part data collection session that consisted of gait evaluation with normal walking, SCKAFO with locked knee joint, SCKAFO without initial flexion (IF) mode, and SCKAFO with IF mode.ResultsWalking with any of the control knee-ankle-foot orthoses (KAFOs) produced a significant reduction in walking speed compared with normal walking. There was no significant difference in walking speed between the SCKAFO with and without IF. There was significantly higher knee flexion in stance phase when walking with the SCKAFO with IF compared with the other types of KAFO, but there was no significant difference between normal walking and SCKAFO with IF. In wearing SCKAFO with IF, the mean of the hip flexion was not significantly altered compared with normal walking. Hip abduction was also significantly reduced during walking with stance control (SC) mode compared to KAFO with locked knee joint.ConclusionKnee-ankle-foot orthosis with new powered knee joint has benefits over existing assistive KAFOs with locked and SC knee joints.

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