Ankle Foot Orthotics (AFO’s) are a form of external brace utilized to treat physical conditions of the lower extremities. Often custom- fabricated out of rigid, semi-soft, or soft materials to meet specific user needs, AFO’s have not experienced significant improvement since the 1970’s with the introduction of plastic braces. Current designs are bulky and have a limited range of motion causing discomfort in the form of cramping, blisters, and sores. The design of a novel AFO to treat moderate to severe cases of foot drop will be elucidated to understand its use in the industry. An assembled hinge mechanism adapted to a thermoplastic brace holding a user’s foot at -3° prevents abduction of the foot, ensuring sufficient ground clearance during swing phase. With the capability to unhinge at the user’s leisure, the AFO’s mechanism weight, comfort and durability characteristics will undergo bench testing to ensure functionality and clinical effectiveness.

Biomechanical Design and Analysis of

Hybrid Ankle Foot Orthotic

Advisor: Dr. Robert Morelos-Zaragoza

Authors: Anna Gee, Natalie Molina