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Use of a Micro-Processor Controlled Knee-Ankle-Foot Orthosis Compared to Traditional Rehabilitation in Spinal Cord Injury

Posted By Sheila Burt



People with incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI) often experience weakness in their legs. Use of an orthotic device may help them move more easily by providing them support.

The C-Brace from Ottobock is one type of next generation micro-processor controlled knee-ankle-foot orthosis (KAFO) that allows users to have more control during the different phases of walking (when the foot first leaves the ground to when it touches back down), offering stumble recovery and reduction in falls. It differs from traditional KAFOs in that it has a micro-processor (computer) that controls the bending and straightening of the knee joint. These features may increase independence in activities of daily living and improve walking safety and stability. If realized, these functions may help people that sustain SCI to increase community mobility and participation.

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the potential of the C-Brace to improve the functional mobility and quality of life in individuals with lower extremity impairments due to SCI when compared to traditional rehabilitation methods. Participants will be randomized into one of two groups: one that uses the C-Brace, or a traditional care group where participants will receive traditionally recommended orthotics as deemed appropriate by an orthotist. Participants in both groups will complete a variety of outcome measures measuring functional mobility, balance, quality of life, and community participation levels.

Subject Population


  • Be maximum 24 months post spinal cord injury diagnosis
  • Ability to wear and use orthotic bracing for lower extremity instability
  • Prescription or need for orthosis
  • Ages 18-80 years

Study Team Personnel

Funding Source





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