A methodology for the development of a Hinged Ankle-Foot Orthosis compatible with natural joint kinematics
This work presents a new concept to design Hinged Ankle-Foot Orthoses (HAFOs), based on the definition of a special mechanical articulation able to mimic the physiological behavior of the human ankle joint. Current commercial braces typically do not take into account the natural variability of the ankle joint axis. As the hinge location as well as the rotation axis variability are both relevant for the overall function of the device, and strongly depend on the subjectspecific characteristics, a methodology for the development of a HAFO with a floating axis of rotation, based on the in-vivo kinematic analysis of the ankle joint, is here proposed. The kinematic analysis was performed by calculation of the instantaneous and mean helical axes over the collected stereo-photogrammetric data of joint motion. This procedure was tested on a healthy subject, leading to the design and fabrication of a first customized prototype of the orthosis. The performance of this HAFO was experimentally verified by motion analysis. All relevant results are presented, and further possible future improvements of the procedure are discussed.
Keywordsankle-foot orthosis ankle joint kinematics customized orthosis in-stantaneous helical axis mean helical axis in-vivo kinematics additive manu-facturing of orthosis
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