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Front. Rehabil. Sci.
Sec. Disability, Rehabilitation, and Inclusion
Volume 5 - 2024 | doi: 10.3389/fresc.2024.1277509

Functional and Perceptive Differences between Conventional and Advanced Ankle Foot Orthoses in Community Ambulators post Limb Trauma: The Injuries Managed with Advanced Bracing of the Lower Extremity (IM ABLE) Study Provisionally Accepted

M J. Highsmith1  Rebecca M. Miro2 Michael Kartel3 Anita Ramrattan3 Angela Courtade3  Jeffrey T. Heckman3  Sam Phillips3  Shane Wurdeman4  Tom Dibello4 Dwiesha England4  Phil M. Stevens4 James Campbell4 Michael Hyre5 James Campbell6 Owen T. Hill7  Stephanie Carey8*
  • 1Veterans Health Administration, United States Department of Veterans Affairs, United States
  • 2School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences, Morsani College of Medicine, USF Health, United States
  • 3James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, United States Department of Veterans Affairs, United States
  • 4Hanger Institute for Clinical Research and Education, United States
  • 5Narrows Institute for Biomedical Research and Education, United States
  • 6Veterans Affairs New York Harbor Healthcare System, Veterans Health Administration, United States Department of Veterans Affairs, United States
  • 7University of Texas at San Antonio, United States
  • 8Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of South Florida, United States

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Many military Service Members as well as civilians suffer lower extremity trauma. There have been recent advancements in lower limb bracing technology, but it is still unclear whether these newer advanced braces improve comfort and function compared to more conventional bracing options. The IDEO (Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeletal Orthosis), one type of "advanced" orthosis was developed to assist in maintaining high functional performance in patients that have experienced high energy lower extremity trauma and limb salvage surgeries. A cross-sector multi-site initiative was completed to study the efficacy of advanced ankle foot orthosis (AFO) for lower limb trauma and injury compared to a conventional AFO. Following fitting, training, and accommodation, subjects were assessed in each AFO system for mobility, self-reported function, safety and pain and finally, for preference. Subjects preferred the advanced over the conventional AFO and the mobility and exertion perception improved with the advanced AFO with no difference in pain or overall health status scores. An advanced AFO is an option for trauma affecting the lower limb. Long term studies are suggested to better understand the accommodation and learning process of using an advanced AFO.

Keywords: Carbon fiber, energy storing, Extremity trauma, Rehabilitation, Orthotics

Received: 14 Aug 2023; Accepted: 15 May 2024.

Copyright: © 2024 Highsmith, Miro, Kartel, Ramrattan, Courtade, Heckman, Phillips, Wurdeman, Dibello, England, Stevens, Campbell, Hyre, Campbell, Hill and Carey. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Stephanie Carey, Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of South Florida, Tampa, 33620, Florida, United States