Hip Knee Ankle Foot Orthosis (HKAFO)
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Hip Knee Ankle Foot Orthosis (HKAFO)

A hip-knee-ankle-foot orthosis (HKAFO) is a general name for a brace that encompasses the foot, ankle, knee and hip. It usually has some type of hip and knee joint and may or may not contain an ankle joint. The addition of the hip joint is to control, assist and/or resist the motions of rotation, flexion and/or extension of the hip. HKAFOs can be thermoplastic or conventional. Thermoplastic HKAFOs are made of high temperature thermoplastics, laminated resins and thermoform able composites, or a combination of these materials. They are designed to be worn with non-custom shoes provided they have adequate depth and width. Conventional HKAFOs are made primarily of metal and leather attached to an orthopedic grade shoe or a quality shoe with a carbon plate reinforcement. This particular design is ideal for patients who experience large volume fluctuations, have open wounds/sores or are allergic to thermoplastics. Further design and componentry depends on the type of control or correction that is to be applied to the knee, ankle and/or foot.


Some examples of conditions that would benefit from a HKAFO include:

•   Acquired brain injury

•   Contractures

•   Knee capsule instability

•   Multiple sclerosis

•   Poliomyelitis

•   Peripheral neuropathy

•   Quadriceps weakness

•   Severe knee instability such as valgus, varus and/or hyperextension

•   Stroke

•   Spina bifida

•   Spinal cord injury