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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/1345

Title: “Let’s Walk” Ankle Foot Orthotic Development
Authors: LaMontagne, Elizabeth
Meles, Josh
Hraban, Bret
Issue Date: 26-Mar-2007
Abstract: The loss of full functional ability in the lower leg and the loss of peroneal nerve control have caused many sufferers to desire a better brace. The condition, known as “drop foot”, has been successfully treated with molded plastic orthotics for some time. However, the orthotics used for this has not undergone major revision in decades. The only notable change in orthotics has come in the areas of materials and assembly. These small changes did little to reduce the bulk and weight of the brace. One can develop drop foot in a number of ways, including stroke, injury to the peroneal nerve group, and birth defects. The loss of control leads to devastating results in the walking gait. Just after heel strike, the toes move towards the ground in an uncontrolled motion causing the toes to “slap“ the ground. An additional symptom is observable between toe off and the swing phase. Since the muscles are unable to lift the toe upwards to clear the ground, the toes drag. Current solutions involve locking the ankle at a rigid ninety-degree angle; however, this allows little to no movement in the joint and can lead to atrophy of the lower leg muscles. Our proposed idea consists of using Functional Electrical Stimulation to stimulate the lower leg muscles to contract and lift the foot in a manner similar to the wearer’s natural foot motion. Currently, many universities, societies and biomedical organizations are steering in this direction as the next step in prosthetic and orthotic development. This support is a strong indication to the feasibility associated with the project design. One alternative method consists of using a combination that would incorporate functional electrical stimulation and actuators to assist with gait control. An engineering analysis was completed to ascertain that the materials selected were functional, cost effective, and meet the design parameters. The design process has taken into consideration functionality assessment, cost, reliability, comfort, and overall performance.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/1345
Appears in Collections:Senior Design Projects (COE)

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