Hesperian Health Guides

Fitting Plastic or Metal Braces

Every day 20,000 people visit the HealthWiki for lifesaving health information. A gift of just $5 helps make this possible!

Make a giftMake a gift to support this essential health information people depend on.

HealthWiki > Disabled Village Children > Chapter 58: Braces (Calipers) > Fitting Plastic or Metal Braces

IMPORTANT! Correct measurements are essential for a good fit.
Boy with below knee brace in right leg and above knee brace on left leg, arrows pointing to different parts.
Below-knee brace should reach almost to knee, yet allow knee to bend all the way.
Brace or clog should grip heel and ankle closely.
Above-knee brace should reach to about 2 cm. below groin.
Upper part of leather or plastic of brace should fit around the thigh closely.
Knee hinge (if used) should be at the middle of the knee, both in height and from front to back.
Side pieces should be close to knee but not touch or rub the child when he walks.
Sideview of boywith above knee brace that reaches the butt.
lip under butt
If the leg is very weak or joints are damaged, the top of the brace can have a lip on which the butt rests, to bear part of the body weight. (For design, see “Artificial Legs”.)

Knee with brace on knee cap.
Soft part of pad sits directly over kneecap.

Ankle hinges, if used, should be at the level of the bony lumps of the ankle.
Foot in brace.
Note: A brace with a hinge at ankle level is better than one with a hinge at foot level because it bends at the same height as the ankle joint. (However, a metal brace with ankle hinge is more difficult to make.) Sideview of foot in brace.
Side rod should attach at a point directly below the midline of leg.

This page was updated:19 Jan 2018