Development of an anti-crouch, dynamic leg brace

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Project Overview

People with cerebral palsy frequently have a crouched stance and gait due to muscle weakness and spasticity. Ankle foot orthotics are often used to improve the biomechanics of gait, however a limitation of this type of brace is that they are not dynamic. They are either fixed, allowing for no significant dorsi/plantar flexion, or they are articulated which allows for too much crouch during times of high fatigue or weakness. We are interested in refining an anti crouch, dynamic brace developed over previous semesters. This is a leg brace that allows dorsi flexion when needed functionally, but spring loads back to keep the tibia in line with the ankle during stance. Our goals for this semester:
1.Make the orthotic more lightweight
2.Make the orthotic quieter (current model makes a lot of mechanic noise during ambulation)
3.Develop a "kit" to retrofit this technology to conventional articulated orthotics
4.Work through Intellectual Property issues with the project
5.Complete a manuscript with data from a study conducted last semester


Team picture

Team members from left to right: Kathryn Schwarz, Lisa Wendt, Stephen Schwartz, Gabrielle Laures, Caius Castro

Contact Information

Team Members

  • Stephen Schwartz - Team Leader
  • Kathryn Schwarz - Communicator
  • Lisa Wendt - BSAC
  • Gabrielle Laures - BWIG
  • Caius Castro - BPAG

Advisor and Client

  • Joseph Towles - Advisor
  • Dr. Donita Croft - Client