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Thread: KAFOs

  1. #1

    KAFOs

    I am getting my first KAFOs in 3 weeks. They have the ratchet lock at the knee that allow active knee extension, which I can do on the left, although very weak.
    I have weak hip flexors both sides, knee flexors L, ankle flexor L, toe extension L, all weak, but noticeable. My right leg is essentially a rigid column of steel.
    Can anyone share experiences about KAFOs, the kind of return they have, progress to AFOs, how long until I can use them proficiently at home, and so forth? I would really appreciate any input as my experience in this field of medicine is very limited. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jeepin's Avatar
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    I enjoy my KAFOs. Don't have quite the return that you have. All I have so far is hip flexors in both legs and a little glute.

    I use any thing from a walker, to forearm crutches to canes.

    Every day I sleep upstairs and get their in my KAFOs by hoping up the stairs. It's a nice change to be six foot again.
    Paralyze resistance with persistence.
    T-12

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeepin
    I enjoy my KAFOs. Don't have quite the return that you have. All I have so far is hip flexors in both legs and a little glute.

    I use any thing from a walker, to forearm crutches to canes.

    Every day I sleep upstairs and get their in my KAFOs by hoping up the stairs. It's a nice change to be six foot again.
    Hi there,
    How long did it take you to become proficient with the KAFOs? I am not the athletic type.
    Edited to add: I was injured July 2005, too. What was "your day?" Mine was the 19th.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jeepin's Avatar
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    I was the 24th of July.

    It didn't take me very long to become proficent. Maybe a week to get good with the walker...then the next week arm crutches...the following week doing stairs and ramps. I'd say I was comfortable after a month and a half.

    I do have good upper body strength though. Really the only thing that wears me out is my hands from holding on to the crutches. I'd use them all the time if I could do it quicker and had use of my hands....isn't this true for all of us though. Oh to be able bodied. It is nice to be up around the house though.

    Best of luck.
    Paralyze resistance with persistence.
    T-12

  5. #5
    Senior Member mr_coffee's Avatar
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    I've been walking with a KAFO now for about a year I would say....I went from walking with an afo back to a kafo after a doctor prescribing I do so but now i've become dependant on the KAFO and can't go to an AFO, thanks DOC!

    Anywho, You do need very strong upper body to be functional with an KAFO, and if you have 2 KAFOs even more so. They are heavy and weigh you down but its better than nothing so keep working at it.

    Since i've been wearing the KAFO on my left side my left had gotten quite strong to the point where it can push harder than my good leg can (no brace on it). I'm not sure why this is, but doing squads, my left leg will do 80% of the pushing and yet I can't functionally do quad sets or hamstring curels on my bad leg (KAFO leg). So i think i've trained my spasims to work when I want them to work, also my abs have really gotten alot of return after walking with the KAFO.

    I currently have a basic plastic KAFO with no lock at the joint, so it can bend whenever, but I still need the KAFO. Without it, my left foot will curel inward. It might be due to not having abductor muscle return but having adductor muscle return.

    I really noticed my return in my braced leg after unlocking the leg and trying to walk with it unlocked, somtimes when the body is forced to do somthing under stress it will and thats what seemed to happen, it had no choice but to use it or fall trying.

    I did this by having someone unlock it, while i was in a walker and I would let go of the walker and try to push myself up with my legs like u were going to jump.

    I noticed my quads kicking in on my bad leg with the kAFO. but be very careful and I don't recommend you doing this anytime soon, becuase you have a few miliseconds before you realize your legs arn't going to work and you have to catch yourself with your arms on the walker. After awhile you will feel safe with your upper body saving u from falls but until then take it slow and brace walk as much as possible, make it part of your day not just an exercise.

    Also anything that is weak, E-stim it. As everyone knows I love my e-stim unit, i would probably mate with it if it were possible.
    Last edited by mr_coffee; 10-22-2006 at 12:12 AM.
    Injured:10-16-04
    C7/C8, T1 incomplete;


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  6. #6
    I used KAFO's 4 about 2 mths, on my R side & found it really benefical & did help tremedously. I don't use it at all now.

    They r fairly easy to use once you master it, which is not that is not that difficult 2 do.

    Best of luck!
    ''Laugh often, long & loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.....and if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots & lots of time with them.''

  7. #7
    Thanks for the input, everybody. If I could ditch the chair if only for five minutes!

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