A Knee Ankle Foot Orthosis (KAFO) is a long-leg orthosis that spans the entire leg in an effort to stabilize the joints and assist the muscles of the leg. While there are several common indications for such an Orthosis, muscle weakness and paralysis of the leg are the ones most frequently identified. The most common causes of muscle weakness and paralysis include:
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Spinal Cord Injury
Historically, often the best option for a patient with weakness of the muscles that control the knee was to wear a KAFO with a locked knee joint. This provided stability to the knee to prevent involuntary bending of the knee, but caused other associated problems such as muscle atrophy and increased energy expenditure while walking. Over the past few years, a newer design of knee joint has been developed that can automatically lock and unlock at the appropriate phases of the gait cycle to allow a more fluidic walking style. This is called a Stance Control joint. These knee joints can be used to create a KAFO or KO that is appropriate for certain patients with knee weakness that fit the treatment criteria of the system. A few examples include:
Each KAFO is custom-made from a unique patient scan to the specific requirements of the individual. There are numerous design options available that make usage of the Orthosis both functional and comfortable. A detailed examination and assessment of the patient allows us to suggest the best available component combination.