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Article

A new carbon fibre spring orthosis for children with plantarflexor weakness

Authors: Bartonek, Å., Eriksson, M., Gutierrez-Farewik, E.M.
Document Type: Article
Pubstate: Published
Journal: Gait & Posture
Volume: 25 (4)   652-6
Year: 2007

Abstract

We tested a new orthosis with a carbon fiber spring constructed to enable energy storing during increasing dorsiflexion in mid-stance, and to use the energy at the end of stance phase to aid push-off. The orthosis was tested on children with plantarflexor weakness due to motor disorders. All subjects were tested with 3D gait analysis with both the new orthosis and with their regularly used orthosis. In this technical note, the results of three individuals are reported. The preliminary findings show increased dorsiflexion, altered knee kinematics and improved kinetic and temporo-spatial parameters. Although the carbon spring orthosis influenced the subjects’ gait in different ways, we conclude that the tested subjects with plantarflexion weakness benefit from the carbon fiber spring orthoses during walking. The parents’ and children`s subjective impressions as acquired from a questionnaire were also positive.