In this paper, we present the design, analysis, and testing of an ankle rehabilitation device (ARD), the purpose of which is to improve the efficacy of ankle joint complex (AJC) injury diagnosis and treatment. The ARD enables physicians to quantitatively measure the severity of an injury. This is done by measuring deficiencies in the joint’s range of motion, as well as force, torque, and power output. Evaluation of the relative degree of recovery over time can also reduce the error associated with current methodologies for rehabilitation, which rely on measurements based on the patient’s verbal response. A Wheatstone bridge circuit is used for the measurement of the various parameters as applied to the blades of complementary rotational flexures; the device is designed to measure motion about three axes of rotation in the ankle joint: pitch, roll, and yaw. A full bridge circuit is applied to each axis of rotation, and the use of multiple axes increases anatomically accurate measurement, enabling characterization of coupled motions. The device has flexibility and a range of motion such that it can be adjusted to take measurements of multiple different degrees of plantar or dorsiflexion of the AJC. The ARD is able to measure both range of motion, force, and torque output simultaneously. Experimental results show that there is significant coupled motion among the ankle joint rotations but that it is highly dependent on a subject’s own physical development.
Design of an Ankle Rehabilitation Device Using Compliant Mechanisms
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Sung, E., Slocum, A. H., Jr., Ma, R., Bean, J. F., and Culpepper, M. L. (January 6, 2011). "Design of an Ankle Rehabilitation Device Using Compliant Mechanisms." ASME. J. Med. Devices. March 2011; 5(1): 011001. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4002901
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