Management of lower extremity musculoskeletal disorders using knee-ankle-foot orthosis (KAFO) represents a complex phenomenon. Much research addressing gait and biomechanics with various KAFO designs has been conducted. The majority of the KAFO users abandon the orthosis primarily because of discomfort and poor ergonomic factors. The purpose of this study was to investigate patients' experiences with two different KAFO designs in relation to performance, satisfaction, and well being.
Five subjects with a primary diagnosis of postpolio paralysis participated in the study. An anterior approach design KAFO and a conventional posterior approach design KAFO were evaluated. Three categories of questionnaires focusing on performance, satisfaction, and well being were administered. The questionnaires measured ease of application and removal, stability, function, and body part discomfort.
The primary conclusion is that in actual practice at home and in the work environment, the anterior approach design is preferred in relation to performance, satisfaction, and well being.
AMMANATH PEETHAMBARAN, DPO (India), MS, CO is an orthotist at the University of Michigan Orthotics and Prosthetics Center, Ann Arbor, MI.
Ammanath Peethambaran, DPO, MS, CO, University of Michigan, O&P Center, 2850 South Industrial Highway, #400, Ann Arbor, MI 48104.
© 2000 American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists