Crouch gait is a motor complication that is commonly associated with cerebral palsy, spastic diplegia, stroke, and motor-neurological pathologies, broadly defined as knee flexion in excess of 20° in the gait cycle. Uncorrected crouch gait results in fatigue, joint degradation, and loss of ambulation. Torsion springs have been used in cycling to store energy in the knee flexion to reduce fatigue in the quadriceps during knee extension. SolidWorks was used to design a passive exoskeleton for the knee, incorporating torsion springs of stiffnesses 20,000 N/mm and 30,000 N/mm at the knee joint, to correct four different crouch gaits. OpenSim was used to gather data from the moments produced, and knee angles from each crouch gait and the normal gait. Motion analysis of the exoskeleton was simulated using knee angles for each crouch gait and compared with the moments produced with the normal gait moments in the stance phase of the gait cycle. All crouch gait moments were significantly reduced, and the correction of peak crouch moments was achieved, corresponding to the normal gait cycle during the stance phase. These results offer significant potential for nonsurgical and less invasive options for wearable exoskeletons in crouch gait correction.
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Date of publication
Baker Bumbard, Katy; Herrington, Harold; Goh, Chung-Hyun; and Ibrahim, Alwathiqbellah, "Incorporation of Torsion Springs in a Knee Exoskeleton for Stance Phase Correction of Crouch Gait" (2022). Mechanical Engineering Faculty Publications and Presentations. Paper 15.