The lifEnabled Dynamic AFO has gone from concept stage to a working prototype that is in a clinical trial right now. The patient I have chose to wear the prototype has MS and is wearing the AFO’s bilaterally. Initial report are positive and she is enjoying the “spring” she gets from the AFO’s. She reports that the braces feel lighter than her previous pair and that she is walking faster with them. Standing up for her is a snap because she can load both AFO’s and they help her get up out of a chair. She is able to walk without assistance and come to a complete stop and stand, which she had not been previously able to do. She is excited about the AFO’s and would like to see other people affected by MS benefit from them. We will continue the trial as I want to make sure the dynamic rods will take the stresses long-term.
What is unique about this AFO? I believe it is the only Thermoplastic one-piece AFO with no hardware (screws, bolts, etc.) that is in development. The AFO can be fabricated without any special equipment and is cost effective to make, which means this technology will be available to a large patient population. We will see where this design goes, but I am excited to see the results so far.