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Prosthet Orthot Int. 2010 Dec;34(4):439-48. doi: 10.3109/03093646.2010.495370. Epub 2010 Aug 4.

Design of an automated device to measure sagittal plane stiffness of an articulated ankle-foot orthosis.

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Department of Health Technology and Informatics, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, PR China.


The purpose of this study was to design a new automated stiffness measurement device which could perform a simultaneous measurement of both dorsi- and plantarflexion angles and the corresponding resistive torque around the rotational centre of an articulated ankle-foot orthosis (AAFO). This was achieved by controlling angular velocities and range of motion in the sagittal plane. The device consisted of a hydraulic servo fatigue testing machine, a torque meter, a potentiometer, a rotary plate and an upright supporter to enable an AAFO to be attached to the device via a surrogate shank. The accuracy of the device in reproducing the range of motion and angular velocity was within 4% and 1% respectively in the range of motion of 30° (15° plantarflexion to 15° dorsiflexion) at the angular velocity of 10°/s, while that in the measurement of AAFO torque was within 8% at the 0° position. The device should prove useful to assist an orthotist or a manufacturer to quantify the stiffness of an AAFO and inform its clinical use.

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