The repetitive nature of walking can lead to repetitive stress and associated complications due to the rate of loading (ROL) experienced by the body at the initial contact of the foot with the ground. An individual’s gait kinematics at initial contact has been suggested to give rise to the ROL, and a repetitive, high ROL may lead to several disorders, including osteoarthritis. We present the design, development, and validation of a knee brace that provides feedback to the user during gait. The feedback consists of an auditory signal when the specific parameters of knee angle or tibial acceleration 50 ms prior to contact are exceeded. Nine women were recruited for the gait analysis, and the gait characteristics with and without the brace and feedback are analyzed. Our results indicate that using a knee brace with feedback can effectively change the gait kinematics used during walking, leading to a reduced ROL experienced at initial contact. Using a knee brace with feedback is a novel approach to gait retraining. Al-though the kinetics of how the subjects change in gait pattern is unknown, the reduced ROL experienced is significant and warrants further investigation.
Design and Validation of a Knee Brace With Feedback to Reduce the Rate of Loading
Riskowski, J. L., Mikesky, A. E., Bahamonde, R. E., and Burr, D. B. (July 6, 2009). "Design and Validation of a Knee Brace With Feedback to Reduce the Rate of Loading." ASME. J Biomech Eng. August 2009; 131(8): 084503. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.3148858
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