A research team studied the effects of a KAFO on plantar pressure in children with infantile tibia vara (ITV, or Blount’s disease) and found it was effective in bringing the plantar pressure distribution closer to the level of children without the condition.
Fourteen children (mean age: 27.14 ± 5 months) with ITV made up the study group, and 14 healthy children (mean age: 26.42 ± 5 months) constituted the control group. Plantar pressure distribution was evaluated with the WalkinSense system. The ITV group comprised ten boys and four girls, while the control group was nine boys and five girls. The groups were similar except that the body mass index of the children in the ITV group was significantly higher compared to the control group. The ITV group was evaluated before and after fitting the orthosis; the control group did not use the orthosis and was evaluated once.
The researchers used a previously studied KAFO with a medial bar and ring lock that was custom made for each participant with ITV, and they identified three areas on the femur and two areas on the tibia on the positive model for correction.
After fitting the KAFO, lateral foot pressure decreased, medial foot pressure increased in the hindfoot, and medial pressure decreased in the forefoot. The pressure in the forefoot of the control group was significantly higher than in the ITV group before and after the orthosis. After the orthosis, the pressure was similar in the posterior and midfoot sensors between the ITV group and the control group, according to the study.
The open-access study, “The effect of orthotics on plantar pressure in children with infantile tibia vara (Blount’s disease),” was published in Scientific Reports.