Horton Unveils Electronic Stance Control Orthotic Knee
Horton Technology Inc., Little Rock, Arkansas, unveiled an electronic version of the Stance Control Orthotic Knee" joint (SCOKJ) during the National Assembly of the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (AOPA) in October. Polio survivor Paul Ellis demonstrated how the Smart Knee® enables him to walk up and down ramps safely despite knee paralysis and profound weakness in both legs.
The Smart Knee shown during the AOPA meeting had electric solenoids retrofitted onto the joints where the mechanical push rod is normally attached. A heel switch combined with eight standard AA batteries automatically engages and disengages the flexion locks. Reportedly, the final version will have micro-solenoids integrated inside the standard joint housings. The Smart Knee is currently undergoing final clinical trials in the US and will be commercially available in early 2003.
Horton's has also developed a small adapter kit that connects its control rods to the posterior channel of a Becker Double Action Ankle Joint. The standard Becker spring provides a dorsiflexion assist; two degrees of motion are sufficient to trigger the stance control knee jointsa simple way to control these joints.
The mechanically actuated Stance Control Orthotic Knee, released in January 2002, was enthusiastically received by rehabilitation professionals. The Stance Control knee joint prevents the knee from collapsing as the patient walks and automatically releases to permit unimpeded knee flexion during the swing phase of gait.
For more information, visit www.stancecontrol.com