Design of an Innovative Assisting Device for Knee Osteoarthritis

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10279)


Osteoarthritis is usually found in weight-bearing joints. Since medial knee joints bear most of the loading during gait, osteoarthritis is especially common in these joints. For early osteoarthritis patients, unloading or increasing muscle strength through exercise is the most fundamental healing approach. The use of assistive devices during exercise can relieve pain and thus increase patient motivation or improve on the duration. However, long-term use of assistive devices may cause discomfort or even side effects and in turn make matters worse. Hence, the purpose of this study includes (1) Developing an innovative assistive device that reduces medial knee loading; (2) Aiming for this device to relieve knee pain caused by OA; (3) Aiming for this device to be free of knee and peripheral muscle movement restrictions and thus increase comfort.

To design an innovative assistive device, this research obtains design criterions through reviewing existing products and expert focus groups. Design concepts are generated in co-design activities following these criterions and eventually converged into one final design with morphological charts. Finally, prototypes are built according to the final design. The results of the experiments show that this innovative assistive device can significantly reduce medial knee loading on both legs, and that the satisfaction scores of design criterions are able to reach an acceptable level.


Knee osteoarthritis Assisting device Design 



The authors would like to thank the Ministry of Science and Technology in Republic of China for financially supporting this research under Contract no. MOST 104-2420-H-006-018-MY3.


  1. 1.
    Peat, G., McCarney, R., Croft, P.: Knee pain and osteoarthritis in older adults: a review of community burden and current use of primary health care. Ann. Rheum. Dis. 60(2), 91–97 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Felson, D.T.: Osteoarthritis of the knee. N. Engl. J. Med. 354(8), 841–848 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Slemenda, C., Brandt, K.D., Heilman, D.K., Mazzuca, S., Braunstein, E.M., Katz, B.P., Wolinsky, F.D.: Quadriceps weakness and osteoarthritis of the knee. Ann. Intern. Med. 127(2), 97–104 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Felson, D.T., Lawrence, R.C., Hochberg, M.C., McAlindon, T., Dieppe, P.A., Minor, M.A., Weinberger, M.: Osteoarthritis: new insights. Part 2: treatment approaches. Ann. Intern. Med. 133(9), 726–737 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Musumeci, G., Aiello, F.C., Szychlinska, M.A., Di Rosa, M., Castrogiovanni, P., Mobasheri, A.: Osteoarthritis in the XXIst century: risk factors and behaviours that influence disease onset and progression. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 16(3), 6093–6112 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lafeber, F.P., Intema, F., Van Roermund, P.M., Marijnissen, A.C.: Unloading joints to treat osteoarthritis, including joint distraction. Curr. Opin. Rheumatol. 18(5), 519–525 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Risberg, M.A., Holm, I., Steen, H., Eriksson, J., Ekeland, A.: The effect of knee bracing after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction a prospective, randomized study with two years’ follow-up. Am. J. Sports Med. 27(1), 76–83 (1999)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Segal, N.A.: Bracing and orthoses: a review of efficacy and mechanical effects for tibiofemoral osteoarthritis. PM&R 4(5), S89–S96 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial DesignNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan

Personalised recommendations