Knee Ankle Foot (KAFO) Orthosis Explained

A well-designed and fitted KAFO orthosis  should augment weight-bearing stability in stance and assist forward progression.

Each KAFO is custom-made to the specific requirements of the individual. There are numerous design options available that make the orthotic device both functional and comfortable. A detailed evaluation of the patient allows us to suggest the best available component combination.

What does a KAFO do for lower limb weakness?

 

Kafo wrap1_600pxA KAFO device is a long-leg orthosis that spans the knee, the ankle, and the foot in an effort to stabilize the joints and assist the muscles of the leg. While there are several common indications for using this lower limb device, muscle weakness and paralysis of the leg are the ones most frequently indicated. The most common causes of muscle weakness include:

  • Poliomyelitis
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Spinal cord injury

A knee-ankle-foot orthosis (KAFO) consists of a plastic AFO or an AFO with metal uprights, a mechanical knee joint, and a plastic thigh cuff or 2 metal thigh bands. KAFO’s can be used in quadriceps paralysis or weakness to maintain knee stability and control flexible genu valgum or varum.

KAFO’s are also used to limit the weight bearing of the thigh, leg, and foot with quadrilateral or ischial containment brim. A KAFO is more difficult to don and doff than an AFO, so it is not recommended for patients who have moderate-to-severe cognitive dysfunction.

If you would like to learn more about how this device might fit your specific condition, we are happy to help with your questions and getting the process started. Contact a practitioner below to take the first step.