DOI: 10.1097/pxr.0000000000000311 ISSN: 0309-3646

Safety, walking ability, and satisfaction outcomes of the NEURO TRONIC stance-control knee-ankle-foot orthosis (SCKAFO): A comparative evaluation to the E-MAG active SCKAFO

Bart Raijmakers, Merel Anne Brehm, Frans Nollet, Fieke Sophia Koopman
  • Rehabilitation
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)


Stance control knee-ankle-foot orthoses (SCKAFOs) ensure knee stability by locking during stance while allowing knee flexion during swing. Differences in function of the knee joints and building principles between devices may affect their effectiveness.


To investigate the preliminary effectiveness of a NEURO TRONIC on safety outcomes, net energy cost (EC), and user experiences in individuals already using an E-MAG Active SCKAFO.

Study design:

Prospective uncontrolled intervention study.


A convenience sample of 10 subjects with flaccid lower extremity muscle weakness, including the quadriceps, due to neuromuscular disorders already using an E-MAG Active SCKAFO were provided with a newly fabricated NEURO TRONIC SCKAFO. Outcomes included knee joint locking failures and unlocking failures (ULFs) (i.e., percentage of steps the knee joint failed to lock/unlock) when walking under challenging conditions on an instrumented treadmill while wearing a safety harness; net EC (J/kg per meter) assessed with a 6-min walk test at comfortable speed; 3D gait kinematics and kinetics; and patient-reported outcomes.


No differences between devices were found for knee joint locking failures (both devices 0%) and ULFs (9.9% for the NEURO TRONIC vs. 13.9% for the E-MAG Active SCKAFO). The mean (standard deviation) net EC with the NEURO TRONIC SCKAFO was 8.2% (from 3.68 [0.81] to 3.38 [0.75] J/kg per meter, p = 0.123) lower, although not significantly, compared with that with the E-MAG Active SCKAFO. Significant improvements with the NEURO TRONIC SCKAFO were found for ankle power (p = 0.003), perceived walking effort (p = 0.014), and reported falls (p = 0.034).


Both the NEURO TRONIC SCKAFO and the E-MAG Active SCKAFO were safe in terms of knee joint locking, while ULFs were frequent with both devices. The net EC with the NEURO TRONIC SCKAFO decreased, although not significantly, by 8.2%, likely due to insufficient power. Perceived walking effort was in favor of the NEURO TRONIC SCKAFO.

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