C-Brace high-tech leg brace
A new approach to walking
Custom electronic leg brace
C-Brace is a computer controlled knee ankle foot orthosis (KAFO) that provides an entirely new approach to walking for individuals who have lower-limb mobility issues due to partial paralysis, incomplete spinal cord injury, post-polio syndrome, quadriceps weakness, and post-stroke. Instead of a locked knee brace—or a wheelchair—imagine a system that gives you the freedom to participate freely and confidently many daily activities. Walk all day, walk smoother, walk with greater safety and without having to constantly look down! Ask your orthotist if the C-Brace is right for you.
Custom fit to you
A lightweight carbon fiber thigh shell is shaped to fit you.
The built-in ankle moment sensor captures information and sends it to the microprocessor to be analyzed. The microprocessor uses this information to optimize the resistance of the brace in real time to best support you.
The microprocessor controlled C-Brace, unlike traditional locking knee joint systems, makes sure it is stable when you need it, and swings freely when you are ready to take a step.
Fits your form
The shape of the calf shell is based on a cast so it matches your shape.
Measures your motion
A knee angle sensor built into your orthosis gathers data about your movements so the C-Brace microprocessor can respond to keep your walking stable and secure.
Use our online map to locate a C-Brace certified Orthotist in your area.
Search for an Orthotist.
What you need to know
Advantages for you
C-Brace was designed to help compensate for lower-limb mobility issues due to partial paralysis, incomplete spinal cord injury, post-polio syndrome, quadriceps weakness, and post-stroke. If your leg brace doesn’t let you change speeds while walking or allow you to put weight on your flexed knee when you sit down or walk down stairs, the C-Brace may help expand your activities.
No more canes
The effects of a spinal stroke and compression of the L1 through L5 vetebrae left Del with very little lower-limb mobility. With the C-Brace, he walks more normally, relying on it to keep his knees solid and to use his lower body to power his motion. Now he can handle an all-day school field trip or navigate a classic-car show outdoors.Watch Del’s C-Brace story to see how the leg braces helped increase his stamina and stability.
Out of her wheelchair
Christin, who has incomplete paraplegia of the right leg, depends on her C-Brace to measure and respond to her movements. On rough terrain, Christin can depend on the C-Brace to help keep stumbles from turning into falls. To learn more about gait, read our stance control section.
Orthotronic knee brace—not bionic
If crowds and unpredictable sidewalks and floors challenge you, the C-Brace can help make your journey a little smoother. Changing speed and direction is easier when you can put weight on a bent knee. And, the idea of “orthotronics” means you have the combination of electronic and mechanical systems working together to support your every step. To learn more, visit our orthotronics topic page.
Walk with confidence again
The C-Brace is a new approach to walking, and it will take some time to re-learn the motions of walking (gait). We’ve developed a series of videos to support you, your Orthotist, and Physical Therapist in this process. The people who have benefitted the most from this advanced orthotic device have taken the time to learn to trust that the C-Brace will respond when you need it – and to get back to a normal walking pattern. Ask your Orthotist for more details, and visit our YouTube channel for a preview.
Try it on for size
The C-Brace is custom made for each, unique, wearer—and can even be made to accommodate heavy duty users like Del. But with our C-Brace diagnostic tool—which can be adapted to most legs—you can try out C-Brace support for yourself. The diagnostic tool helps your Orthotist explain the differences between your current brace and this new, computer controlled orthosis. Share this site with your Orthotist, or contact us for a no-obligation opportunity to explore your options.
'I don't think about my brace anymore.'
Bryan broke his C4 and C5 vetebrae while working as a police officer, leaving the right side of his body paralyzed. With C-Brace, he has resumed hunting and fishing and walking through the woods. He no longer thinks about each move he wants to make before he makes it. He just walks. Download Bryan's story to learn how C-Brace has helped Bryan walk farther and longer with confidence.
Your clinical needs are unique to you, and involve knowing the challenges of your workplace, your home, and your hobbies. Your Orthotist is well-equipped to help you assess your situation and determine what might work for you. In addition to sharing this information and the downloads with your clinician, Ottobock has experienced Orthotists on staff who can talk about all the clinical details involved in your decisions, and are happy to personally consult with your Orthotist about your case. Just have them call us at 800 328 4058 and ask for professional services.
The C-Brace orthotronic mobility system can be considered for all neurological indications of the lower limbs. The primary indications include:
- Lower limb involvement with weakness or paresis of the quadriceps muscle or the inability to maintain knee extension during stance phase, e.g. incomplete paraplegia with segmental levels of L1 to L5 or polio, post‑polio syndrome
- Moderate to severe lower limb spasticity
- Hip flexor strength of less than grade 3. Ability to advance the limb by compensatory trunk movement is permitted
- Fixed knee valgus greater than 10 degrees beyond anatomic neutral
- Fixed knee varus
- Less than 2 degrees of relative ankle dorsiflexion
- Body weight over 125 kg/275 lbs
- download 256.72 kB | PDF
Bryan's C-Brace Case Story
- download 148.89 kB | PDF
C-Brace reference guide
Frequently asked questions and what you need to know about C-Brace
- download 1.20 MB | PDF
C-Brace physician reference guide
Helpful information about C-Brace to be shared with medical professionals
- download 179.97 kB | PDF
- download 684.34 kB | PDF
Please feel free to share this clinically oriented information as a starting point for a conversation with your Orthostist. And remember, our Professional and Clinical Services team is always ready to offer more information.
In the news
Woman hikes the Appalachian Trail with C-Braces
The quality of life gained from being upright and mobile is a medical necessity. That’s Stacey Kozel’s message to insurance companies as she hikes the 2,190 mile Appalachian Trail in bilateral C-Braces. Stacey, who lost muscle function in her lower limbs after a lupus flare up, is hiking the trail to raise awareness about the benefits of C-Brace. Read about her determination to find an orthotic solution and her year-long fight to get her insurance company to cover her C-Braces in this amazing.
C-Brace helps two people regain their mobility
"[C-Brace] can impact a user’s life quite profoundly. For Chris Bridgman, a T10 incomplete para, the brace has eased his transition back to work full time as a loan officer. 'I love being able to look people in the eye, standing 6 feet tall. I can go anywhere and not worry about being able to get into a house or a building because of steps or whatever,' says Bridgman." Read more about the impact C-Brace has had on Chris and 21-year-old Monica's lives.
Joseph walks with confidence years after workplace injury
Immediately following a workplace accident on a train in 1999, Joseph had reconstructive knee surgery and wasn't able to walk very well. He was restricted to using a wheelchair, which was a dark time for him. "I mean, along with the pain and everything, you get depression," he said, "which is something I never experienced." Learn how C-Brace has helped restore Joseph's mobility and outlook 16 years after his accident.
Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
In the past, orthotic fittings for patients with neurological indications of the lower limbs consisted solely of a leg brace with a locked or manual locking knee joint. Newer stance phase control orthoses improved on this, helping users achieve a certain amount of dynamic movement. C-Brace goes a step further.
C-Brace is the only KAFO on the market that provides dynamic control of the entire gait cycle* — stance and swing phases — in real time. Movement is smoother, safer, more controlled, and more stable, even on uneven terrain. C-Brace is the first system available to utilize advanced sensor arrays, microprocessor controls, and management of the gait cycle to dramatically improve a person’s walking ability.
*The gait cycle refers to your individual walking pattern. It is divided into two major phases: stance phase and swing phase. Stance phase happens when your foot is on the ground and you are applying weight to your leg. Swing phase is when your foot is in the air and swinging forward.
C-Brace encourages natural body posture, reducing excessive strain on the sound-side limb. Advanced stumble-control features facilitate a greater sense of stability and security. In addition, C-Brace may provide a number of functional benefits:
• Strengthen muscles that previously were rarely used
• Reduce muscular atrophies (muscle wasting)
• Prevent contractures (stiffening of muscles, tendons, or other tissue) and joint damage caused by immobilization
• Retain cardiovascular performance (endurance) for everyday activities
• Reduce contralateral limb pain and overuse injuries
C-Brace can be considered for all neurologic indications of the lower limbs.
• Incomplete paraplegia (lesion between L1 and L5)
• Very minor or no spasticity
• Quadriceps weakness
• Post-polio syndrome
• Traumatic nerve injury
C-Brace does not move for you — it responds to your movements. Because of this, the functional status of your muscles is a deciding factor.
Other factors when being considered for C-Brace:
• You must be able to fully stabilize your trunk and stand freely
• Your hip flexor muscle strength must permit controlled swing-through of your affected leg or you must be able to compensate through trunk movement
• You must be motivated and financially able to participate in physical therapy so that you can be trained in using the device
If you are unable to stand, results from joint mobility, muscle tone, and muscle strength tests can be used to determine if C-Brace would be appropriate for you.
Under some circumstances, it may be too early for a C-Brace fitting. Consult with your primary care physician, physiatrist, physical therapist, or orthotist** to determine what milestones must be reached before you can be evaluated for C-Brace.
**An orthotist is an allied healthcare professional who is specifically educated and trained to manage comprehensive orthotic patient care. Your orthotist will evaluate your individual needs and goals in order to design, fabricate, fit, and maintain an orthosis or brace. (Source:www.oandpcare.org/orthoticcarefaq)
Great! The next step is to find out if you’re a candidate for C-Brace. C-Brace evaluations are conducted by trained and certified orthotists, often in coordination with your physical therapist or physiatrist.
How you can help:
1. Share this document with your primary care physician, physiatrist, or physical therapist, and ask them if you can be evaluated for C-Brace.
2. Ask your physician to refer you to an orthotist for evaluation. If you already have an orthotist, he or she should be able to conduct an evaluation. If you don’t have an orthotist, and your physician or physical therapist does not have a contact, Ottobock can recommend an orthotist in your area.
3. Ask your physician to start the documentation process. C-Brace requires a physician prescription and insurance pre-authorization. The Physician Documentation Guide on the next page will help your physician document the medical necessity of the brace in your medical record.
4. If you have any questions, contact Ottobock at 512 806 2897 to speak with a member of the Professional and Clinical Services team.
A physician’s prescription is required for C-Brace. Generally speaking, a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician (PM&R) or physiatrist will prescribe C-Brace. This may vary depending on your condition.
Your doctor will need to provide documentation to show that the device is medically necessary. Insurance providers require pre-authorization before you can receive a C-Brace.
C-Brace is new technology, and any new technology comes with a learning curve. We’re here to help. Our clinical support team will work with your care providers every step of the way! All trials are free and come with no obligation.
A C-Brace trial can open up a new world of possibilities for you. This is your first step in becoming actively involved in finding a solution that will help you maximize your functional potential.
Not finding what you are looking for? Please contact us!