A knee-ankle-foot orthosis (KAFO) is a custom-molded plastic shell with contoured metal uprights and a variety of knee joints designed to provide support and correction to the knee, ankle and foot. This orthosis can improve mobility, body alignment and posture, increase bone and muscle strength, and enhance independence and self-esteem. 

Putting on Your KAFO

Because there are many different reasons to use a KAFO, we offer many different designs. Your orthotist will show you the proper way to put on your KAFO. The following instructions are for putting on a basic plastic KAFO with metal uprights and lockable knee joints: 

  1. Open all of the Velcro straps and unlock and bend the knee joints.
  2. Apply the full-length KAFO sock that was provided by your orthotist. 
  3. Position your leg and foot inside the KAFO. 
  4. Make sure that your heel is all the way down in the KAFO. This is a critical step in maintaining proper fit and function. 
  5. Secure the ankle (instep) strap first. This strap should be snug in order to prevent motion in the KAFO. 
  6. Continue fastening the fabric fastener straps up your calf and thigh.
  7. Straighten the knee in order to lock the knee joints (if applicable).  Double check that the joints are locked before standing up.

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team.