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Clinical application of carbon fibre reinforced plastic leg orthosis for polio survivors and its advantages and disadvantages

K Hachisuka, K Makino, F Wada, S Saeki, N Yoshimoto, M Arai
Prosthetics and Orthotics International 2006, 30 (2): 129-35
A prospective study was carried out on the clinical application and features of a carbon fibre reinforced plastic leg orthosis (carbon orthosis) for polio survivors. The subjects comprised 9 polio survivors, and 11 carbon knee-ankle-foot orthoses (KAFOs) were prescribed, fabricated, and checked out at the authors' post-polio clinic. Walking was classified based on the functional ambulatory category, and the features of walking with a carbon orthosis were self-evaluated by using a visual analogue scale. The period from modelling a cast to completion was 55 +/- 25 days; the weight of a carbon KAFO was 27.8% lighter than that of the ordinary KAFO; the standard carbon KAFO was 50% more expensive than the ordinary KAFO. The carbon KAFO remained undamaged for at least 2 years. It improved the scores in the functional ambulation categories, but there was no difference between walking with an ordinary and with a carbon KAFO. The self-evaluation of walking with a carbon KAFO revealed that the subjects using a carbon KAFO were satisfied with their carbon KAFO. The carbon KAFO is lightweight, durable, slim and smart, and is positively indicated for polio survivors.

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