User Instructions for Knee Orthosis or KAFO


  • follow the wearing schedule
  • wear suitable footwear, usually a lace up shoe or trainer with a low broad heel (the orthotist will give you advice on the choice of footwear)
  • wear the device as instructed by the orthotist
  • check the device regularly for wear or damage:
    • Check straps are not frayed, torn or loose, and they remain fastened securely when stood
    • check knee and ankle joints where fitted for signs of damage or wear
    • if the device has spurs to be fitted into footwear, check that the fit remains secure
    • if the device has rivets holding side steel onto plastic check these have not loosened or broken
    • if the device has calf bands or a thigh section, check these have not become loose
  • have the device checked at least every 6 months or more frequently if advised. This must be carried out by the orthotist or designated healthcare professional


  • attempt to modify or adjust the device unless instructed to do so by the orthotist
  • cut, file or damage the device
  • place near sources of heat or extreme cold
  • immerse the device in water


If you notice any of the following, contact your orthotist:

  • skin redness that does not fade after 30-45 minutes
  • skin breakdown (sores or blisters)
  • pain, irritation, or rubbing
  • damage to the device


Any plastic sections of device should be cleaned using a cloth with soap and water.

Orthotist fitting instructions

  • fit device onto patient
  • where applicable, either
    • insert spurs into socket of footwear and check for correct fit or
    • check fit of footplate in patient’s footwear
  • check alignment and operation of knee joints and ankle joints where fitted
  • where appropriate check function of any joint locking mechanisms
  • where appropriate check fit / trim of any AFO sections
  • check that device applies pressure only in appropriate areas and check for any possible areas of excess pressure
  • check all straps and padding are attached securely and in the correct place
  • check any adjustment screws are fully tightened. note – any that have been loosened during fitting must be reassembled using Loctite(TM)
  • fasten straps and stand patient – re-check fit of device with patient weight bearing
  • advise patient on:
    • correct donning and doffing
    • suitable footwear
    • wearing in schedule (fill in chart on patient instruction sheet)
    • function of the device, including any joint and locking mechanisms
    • potential risks including any limitations on use
    • person to contact if any problems are experienced
    • requirements for regular safety inspections


  • Stitched leather backed Velcro TM straps may be shortened by cutting just to the side of the stitched cross bars furthest from the brace
  • Plastic parts may be moulded using a hot air gun, however care must be taken not to overheat the material or damage will occur. Allow plastic to cool before placing on the patient
  • Plastic parts may be trimmed using a knife or jigsaw but care must be taken not to tear the lining if fitted. After trimming, ensure that all edges are smooth. If grinding or cutting is required current Health and Safety procedures should be followed


  • Do not modify the fit of the device by bending or shaping any of the metal components as this may lead to failures of the device