Lower Extremity Care

A lower extremity orthosis is an external device applied or attached to a portion of the lower body to improve its function by controlling motion, providing support through gait stabilization, reducing pain by transferring load to a different area, correcting flexible deformities, or limiting progression of permanent deformities. The orthosis selected should be simple, lightweight, strong, durable, and cosmetically acceptable.

Outlined below is a brief description of the lower extremity orthoses that we provide at Green Prosthetics & Orthotics. As you can see, in many cases orthoses are made up of a combination of static and dynamic individual units or components.

Lower extremity prostheses are made up of a combination of components. At Green Prosthetics & Orthotics we obtain our components, devices, interfaces, and systems from some of the most well known and technology advanced manufacturing companies in the world. See our Technology Section for examples. We take these components and custom fashion them into a final prosthesis.

The components most often used in lower level prostheses include:


An ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) is prescribed for weakness or paralysis of various parts of the ankle and foot. AFO’s are used to prevent or correct deformities and reduce or redistribute weight bearing. The position of the ankle indirectly affects the stability of the knee making it very important that your AFO is properly constructed and fitted.


A knee orthosis (KO) provides support or control of the knee but not of the foot and ankle. The knee orthosis is centered over the lower end of the femur (thigh area).  KO’s are used to treat many conditions including: lateral knee stability; knee control in various planes such as the “frontal plane”; and rotation control often used in conjunction with the management of sports injuries.


Knee-ankle-foot orthotics (KAFO’s) is comprised of an AFO with metal uprights, a mechanical knee joint, and several thigh bands. KAFO’s are used in quadriceps paralysis or where patients are unable to maintain knee stability and control. In addition they are used to limit the weight bearing of the thigh, leg, and foot.


A hip-knee-ankle-foot orthosis (HKAFO) consists of a hip joint and a pelvic strap attached to a KAFO.  With the orthotic knee joint (KA) properly centered, the orthotic hip joint is positioned while the patient sits upright at a 90 degree angle.  The use of pelvic bands need to be appropriately fitted as they can complicate putting on and taking off clothes.


A hip abduction orthosis is a brace that a physician primarily prescribes following a change to a hip replacement or after a hip dislocation.  It is used to prevent excessive forward and backward movement of the hip and to keep the legs moving separately.  The brace holds the femur (thigh area) in the hip socket to promote healing. The brace is normally worn 24 hours per/day.