A Novel Walking Cane with Haptic Biofeedback Reduces Degenerative Loading in the Arthritic Knee
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Knee osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder and a leading cause of ambulatory disability in adults. Conservative treatments of osteoarthritis are lacking and the most commonly prescribed mobility aid, the walking cane, is often misused and therefore fails to provide symptomatic relief. For this study, a novel walking cane with haptic biofeedback was designed to improve the partial weight-bearing techniques used for transferring bodyweight from an affected leg to a mobility aid. Proper transfer of bodyweight from an arthritic limb to a walking cane has shown to reduce joint loading associated with symptomatic pain and disease progression. The novel cane was designed to be intuitive to use and conducive to use outside of a controlled laboratory environment. Improving the design and usability of common mobility aids serves the aging, injured, and disabled communities by providing tools for independent disease maintenance thus reducing reliance on reactionary treatments to worsening symptoms.
- Mechanical engineering