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Development of an anti-crouch, dynamic leg brace

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Design Award

  • Design Excellence Award Winner

Project Overview

Children with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy commonly have a crouched stance and gait due to a forward shift of the center of mass coupled with shortened, taut, weak muscles and muscle spasticity. Currently commercially available braces and ankle foot orthotics used to improve crouch gait are either rigid at the ankle or articulated to allow dorsiflexion and plantarflexion of the ankle. Rigid braces inhibit the development of a more normal walking gait, and articulated braces often allow for excessive flexion, especially during high stress or fatigue. The proposed brace design will include variable resistance to dorsi/plantar flexion to allow for high stability in times of fatigue and less resistance during therapeutic gait training, providing eccentric muscle strengthening and more normal gait kinematics throughout the lower limb. This is a continued project from last Fall where the prototype was built but some aspects of the design need to be more ergonomic and user friendly for the patient. Some of the main areas of focus will be on the resistance bands on the side, the material of the brace itself and the cushion inside to provide comfort to the patient.

Team Picture

Team members from left to right: Kyle Koehler, Brady Lundin, Emily Olszewski, Alex Ehlers, and Aaron Bishop
Team members from left to right: Kyle Koehler, Brady Lundin, Emily Olszewski, Alex Ehlers, and Aaron Bishop

Contact Information

Team Members

  • Aaron Bishop, BME 301 - Team Leader
  • Alex Ehlers, BME 301 - Communicator
  • Emily Olszewski, BME 301 - BSAC
  • Kyle Koehler, BME 301 - BWIG
  • Brady Lundin, BME 301 - BPAG

Advisor and Client

  • Prof. Chris Brace - Advisor
  • Donita Croft - Client
  • Wendy Stewart - Alternate Contact

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