Cadence Biomedical of Seattle, WA today released its Kickstart Kinetic Orthosis, a device that helps people with neurological disorders affecting the strength of their legs walk with greater ease and precision. It stores energy during flexing of the knee and releases it to help propel the foot forward during extension. According to the company, the Kickstart was “inspired by the anatomy of horses, whose long tendons span multiple joints and allow for highly efficient walking and running.”
Since it’s not powered, it doesn’t require heavy batteries that need to be recharged, nor motors that make noise and complicate the mechanics, and can be used on one or both legs depending on the patient’s needs.
More about the Kickstart from Cadence Biomedical:
Kickstart is designed to bring new levels of function for those who have plateaued in therapy, and also open new opportunities for supporting recovery and an enhanced quality of life. A growing body of clinical data speaks to its benefits, including case studies presented at this year’s annual meetings of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP) and the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA), in which Kickstart users were able to walk considerably farther and faster while using the device. Cadence is conducting clinical studies aimed at further quantifying Kickstart’s benefits with partner academic institutions and expects to begin reporting data in 2013.
Kickstart is specifically intended for individuals with lower extremity weakness – particularly in the hip flexors and ankle plantarflexors – and poor endurance, secondary to neurological injury or disease such as stroke, incomplete spinal cord injury, ALS, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis. The device is worn over clothing, and unilateral and bilateral configurations are available. Kickstart is prescribed by a physician and custom-fit by an orthotist.
Here are a couple videos from the company:
Press release: Cadence Biomedical Launches Kickstart Kinetic Orthosis