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Duchenne is a rare form of muscular dystrophy affecting 1 on 3.500 male children that, at about 8–12 years old progressively become wheelchair bounded, with an expectation of life on the late 20 or 30 years old. Due to muscles’ weakening, Achilles tendon takes over on muscle tissue and starts to thicken and shrink in length, causing plantar flexion and retractions, while the function of AFOs is for applying a stretching force that can delay equine deformation of the feet. It is scientifically demonstrated that a constant use of night Ankle Foot Orthosis, together with physiotherapy, can extend the independent ambulation by up to two years and delay the occurrence of other complications. Moreover even once the child is wheelchair bounded, a further delay in retraction prevents contractures, complications and pains. Night Ankle Foot Orthoses are not a cure for DMD patients and Achille tendons’ retractions at the end will in any case take over muscular strength. The research started from these premises to understand margin of improvements of current products and design an innovative type of static AFO. The obtained results at this stage prove that an innovative process is possible, it demonstrates with the case studies its great potential of application an improvement compared to current products, but it has to be further tested and developed in order to become a usable orthoses.
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- Design for People Affected by Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Proposal of a New Type of Ankle Foot Orthosis [AFO] Based on 3D Indirect Survey and 3D Printing
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