Feasibility Study for a Controllable Orthotic Knee JointBy Hutchins, S.W.; Miller, K.; Stallard, J.; Woollam, P.J.; Smith, C.; Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, Volume 6, Number 6, pages 536-545
Publication Date: November 2011
Study explored the feasibility of producing an orthotic knee joint that could lock and unlock during ambulation. The knee joint would eventually be used in a reciprocating gait orthosis (RGO) for patients with severe disabilities. Three prototype orthotic knee joints incorporating braking mechanisms were designed and manufactured to demonstrate their ability to withstand a maximum calculated sagittal plane bending moment of 73 Newton meters (Nm): (1) one comprising a length of fiber reinforced rubber "V" belt compressed into the circumferential rim of a reciprocating drum; (2) a Shimano Nexave brake mechanism wherein internal one way rollers were forced against a rotating steel band to generate a braking friction; and (3) the use of a Hope Mono hydraulic brake caliper, commonly used on commercial mountain bicycles, combined with standard friction pads in conjunction with a stainless steel reciprocating disc. Although all three joints achieved the requirement to sustain the specified externally applied bending moments, the hydraulic disc brake system proved significantly superior and was selected for more comprehensive testing. Implications for its future development and incorporation in an RGO designed for severely disabled patients, such as those with complete paraplegia up to level T4 and those with severe neurological dysfunction, are discussed.
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Limited (Website:http://taylorandfrancis.org)
International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (Web Site: http://www.isprm.org )