Knee Ankle Foot Orthosis (KAFO)

A KAFO is an entire leg orthosis that spans the knee, ankle and foot. It is prescribed to assist and stabilise the muscles of the leg, particularly for patients with muscle-weakening conditions or paralysis. The most common causes of muscle weakness are post-polio syndrome, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury.

KAFOs work to:

–       prevent excessive joint movement

–       reduce joint pain

–       control unstable joints

–       improve alignment

It is best advised to choose supportive, comfortable shoes to wear with your KAFO to make the most of the benefits.

Until recently the only KAFO that was available was fixed with a locking knee joint. While they provide the needed stability to the knee, it can lead to muscle atrophy (muscle wastage through inactivity). Other disadvantages include unnecessary energy expenditure and a non-cosmetic walk.

Recently, Free Walk stance control orthoses have become available which can automatically lock and unlock at the right time in the gait cycle. These are lightweight and allow for a more natural gait while ensuring that leg muscles are also still being used.

LOC also provides the following:

Carbon Fibre KAFO – incredibly strong yet lightweight to help reduce energy expenditure. The reduced bulk also means it can fit within a wider range of shoes.

Otto Bock E-MAG Active KAFO – lower limb orthosis which electromagnetically locks and unlocks the knee during the gait cycle.

Neuro-tronic KAFO – state of the art orthosis technology developed in Germany which locks and unlocks the joint using sensors. Made from lightweight titanium and uses one joint instead of two.

One of our specialised orthotists will be able to advise on the KAFO best suited to your needs and preference.