Photo of the leg brace strapped on patient's leg

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Leg Brace

Iowa State University

Meredith Lehmann, Jimmy Williams, Jamie Pryhuber, Megan Kowalski, Olivia Tyrrell, Mitchell Kiska, Joseph Magnani, John Bauch

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a disease that causes the muscles to deteriorate over time due to a lack of dystrophin. By the age of 10, children with DMD can be in a wheelchair due to the leg muscles being deteriorated. The team set out to find a solution that would alleviate stress on the leg muscles regarding an activity a child would do on a daily basis. Going from a sitting to standing position is the task the team focused on to remove force from the quadricep muscle.

The team came up with a design solution of a brace that used torsion springs connected to rods that ran up the length of the quadricep. The springs have potential energy store when the child is sitting due to being a bent position. When the child begins to stand, the potential energy is converted to kinetic energy thus providing extra help in the child standing up. Foam and athletic wrap are used to make the brace as comfortable as possible for the child.

The brace holds significance as it provides support and alleviates some stress from the quadricep when the child is going from a seated position to standing. It is the team’s hope that this can preserve the child’s leg muscles for a longer period of time, thus keeping them out of the wheelchair longer.

RESNA Design Brief

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