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Prosthet Orthot Int. 2016 Apr;40(2):277-86. doi: 10.1177/0309364614546524. Epub 2014 Sep 23.

A functional comparison of conventional knee-ankle-foot orthoses and a microprocessor-controlled leg orthosis system based on biomechanical parameters.

Author information

1
Otto Bock Healthcare, Department of Research/Biomechanics, Göttingen, Germany Thomas.Schmalz@ottobock.de.
2
Otto Bock Healthcare, Department of Research/Biomechanics, Göttingen, Germany.
3
Otto Bock Healthcare, Department of Research and Development/Mechanics, Vienna, Austria.
4
Otto Bock Healthcare, Department of Research and Development/Orthotics, Duderstadt, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The microprocessor-controlled leg orthosis C-Brace enables patients with paretic or paralysed lower limb muscles to use dampened knee flexion under weight-bearing and speed-adapted control of the swing phase.

OBJECTIVES:

The objective of the present study was to investigate the new technical functions of the C-Brace orthosis, based on biomechanical parameters.

STUDY DESIGN:

The study enrolled six patients. The C-Brace orthosis is compared with conventional leg orthoses (four stance control orthoses, two locked knee-ankle-foot orthoses) using biomechanical parameters of level walking, descending ramps and descending stairs.

METHODS:

Ground reaction forces, joint moments and kinematic parameters were measured for level walking as well as ascending and descending ramps and stairs.

RESULTS:

With the C-Brace, a nearly natural stance phase knee flexion was measured during level walking (mean value 11° ± 5.6°). The maximum swing phase knee flexion angle of the C-Brace approached the normal value of 65° more closely than the stance control orthoses (66° ± 8.5° vs 74° ± 6.4°). No significant differences in the joint moments were found between the C-Brace and stance control orthosis conditions. In contrast to the conventional orthoses, all patients were able to ambulate ramps and stairs using a step-over-step technique with C-Brace (flexion angle 64.6° ± 8.2° and 70.5° ± 12.4°).

CONCLUSION:

The results show that the functions of the C-Brace for situation-dependent knee flexion under weight bearing have been used by patients with a high level of confidence.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE:

The functional benefits of the C-Brace in comparison with the conventional orthotic mechanisms could be demonstrated most clearly for descending ramps and stairs. The C-Brace orthosis is able to combine improved orthotic function with sustained orthotic safety.

KEYWORDS:

Biomechanics of prosthetic/orthotic devices; lower limb orthotics; rehabilitation of orthoses users; testing of prosthetic and orthotic components

PMID:
25249381
DOI:
10.1177/0309364614546524
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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