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First evaluation of a novel tri-compartment unloader

This biomechanical study outlines the unique design and function of the Levitation knee brace and demonstrates that Levitation can reduce patellofemoral and tibiofemoral joint contact forces to a level that would be achieved by losing 45 lbs of body weight.

Third biomechanical study of a novel tri-compartment unloader knee brace

This study examined the biomechanical effects of a tri-compartment unloader brace (TCU) in patients with multi-compartment knee OA while they performed actions of daily living. Results showed that Levitation can significantly reduce quadriceps muscle effort and internal knee extension moments.

Research Summary

Second biomechanical study of a tri-compartment unloader

Biomechanical Study of a Tricompartmental Unloader Brace for Patellofemoral or Multicompartment Knee Osteoarthritis

McGibbon, C.A., Brandon, S., Bishop, E.L., Cowper-Smith, C.D., and Biden, E. (2020). Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology. doi:10.3389/fbioe.2020.604860

Key Findings

Multiple Forces Reduced

Each TCU brace model significantly reduced PF, TF, PC ligament, PT and QT forces during a deep knee bend test.

Reduced Joint Load

Each TCU brace model significantly reduced knee joint loads by at least 32% when compared to the non-braced condition.

Replicates & Extends Previous Research

Results corroborate the knee joint unloading capabilities of a TCU, as demonstrated in a previous study (Budarick et al. 2020).

This study replicates and extends the findings of Budarick et al. 1– Budarick, A.R. et al. 2020. J. Biomech. Eng. 142., which demonstrated that Levitation can reduce knee joint loads to a level that would be achieved by losing 45 lb of bodyweight. In the present work, the authors used a validated biomechanical model to demonstrate that a tri-compartment unloader brace (TCU) can significantly reduce patellofemoral (PF) and tibiofemoral (TF) joint contact forces, as well as patellar tendon (PT), quadriceps tendon (QT), and posterior cruciate (PC) ligament forces during a deep knee bend from 30 to 100 degrees of joint flexion. To determine the potential of a TCU such as Levitation to unload knee joint forces, the unloading effects of three simulated TCU models (a squat, plateau, and general model) were compared to a non-braced condition. For all TCU models, knee joint loads were reduced by between 30-50% (Figure 1).

Figure 1

Reduction of tibiofemoral, patellofemoral and quadriceps tendon forces during a deep knee bend test. The blue line represents joint forces observed without a brace, while the green line represents joint forces observed with the TCU squat model. The shaded regions are areas of statistical uncertainty.

Partner Institutions

University of New Brunswick

We worked with researchers at the University of New Brunswick to evaluate the design of Levitation, and continue to collaborate on projects to measure and quantify the capability of our tri-compartment unloader knee brace to unload all three knee compartments.

University of Guelph

Researchers at the University of Guelph are evaluating the potential of our tri-compartment unloader knee brace, Levitation, to unload the patellofemoral and tibiofemoral knee compartments. The insights gained from this research are helping us to validate the quality and efficacy of our product.

NSERC

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada funds visionaries, explorers and innovators who are searching for the scientific and technical breakthroughs that will benefit our country. They are Canada’s largest supporter of discovery and innovation.

Canadian Institutes of Health Research

As the Government of Canada’s health research investment agency, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) supports excellence across all four pillars of health research: biomedical; clinical; health systems services; and population health.

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Third biomechanical study of a novel tri-compartment unloader knee brace
Third biomechanical study of a novel tri-compartment unloader knee brace

Third biomechanical study of a novel tri-compartment unloader knee brace

This study examined the biomechanical effects of a tri-compartment unloader brace (TCU) in patients with multi-compartment knee OA while they performed actions of daily living. Results showed that Levitation can significantly reduce quadriceps muscle effort and internal knee extension moments.

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