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Putting ‘spring’ into Jan’s stride

A London man has returned to running after successful collaboration between two leading UK companies.

Mr. Jan Raposa has peroneal, gastrocnemius and soleus weakness with ankle instability following a herniated L4/5 lumbar vertebrae. Being otherwise fit and healthy – Jan’s rehabilitation goals were to return to his previous high level activities - running and triathlons. However, attempts at running using thermoplastic AFOs caused his weakened right ankle to collapse into a valgus position and he had no propulsion effect at push off. This made running impossible.

Jan’s Orthotist, Alan Hews, senior Orthotist at London Orthotic Consultancy identified this clinical problem. Alan sought input from the team at Orthotic Composites Ltd. Orthotic Composites provide composite fibre design and engineering solutions for the prosthetic and orthotic industry. The two companies worked towards the ambition of providing Jan with an AFO precise and strong enough to meet the demands of his rehabilitation goals.

The running AFO designed for Jan takes its lead from AFO designs first seen in military settings It incorporates a range of materials including carbon fibre, aramid and high density polyurethane – whilst also utilising BOA fastening technology. The result for Jan was an AFO design strong enough to allow for effective toe strike running. Propulsive force at push off is achieved via the energy return characteristics of the composite fibre structure. Jan’s stride length increased and he is now regularly running for the first time since his herniated disc.

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