Hutchins S.W.,University of Salford |
Miller K.,Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic and District Hospital |
Stallard J.,ORLAU Publishing Ltd |
Woollam P.J.,Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic and District Hospital |
Smith C.,University of Salford
Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology | Year: 2011
Purpose. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the feasibility of producing an orthotic knee joint that could lock and unlock during ambulation for eventual use in a reciprocating gait orthosis (RGO) for severely disabled patients. Method. Three prototype orthotic knee joints incorporating braking mechanisms were designed and manufactured to demonstrate their ability to withstand a maximum calculated sagittal plane bending moment of 73 Nm. Each was then subjected to bench trials to test their performance against the required specification. Results. Although all three joints achieved the requirement to sustain the specified externally applied bending moments, the hydraulic disc brake system proved significantly superior and was selected for more comprehensive testing. Conclusions. The results confirmed the feasibility of utilising a hydraulic braking mechanism within an orthotic knee joint to withstand the knee flexing moments during walking in a lower limb orthosis. This gave the development group confidence to progress to the prototype design phase with the specific aim of eventually incorporating such a joint in an RGO designed for severely disabled patients such as those with complete paraplegia up to level T4 and those with severe neurological dysfunction. © 2011 Informa UK, Ltd.