Pachyonychia Congenita Project is a 501(c)(3) public charity that promotes research, advocacy and support for persons with Pachyonychia Congenita (PC), a rare genetic disorder that results in extremely painful blisters and callouses forming on the soles of the feet. The goal of this project was to create a device that reduces the pain associated with walking and standing for persons with PC.
The team developed a concept for a brace that relieves pressure on the soles of the feet by transferring weight to the lower leg. They found a similar, commercially-available orthotic device and modified it to fit the unique needs of PC patients.
PC patients are especially sensitive to high pressure areas on their feet. Traditional insoles are often ineffective for them because many insoles simply shift pressure from one area of the foot to another, causing new callouses and blisters to form.
The leg brace is very effective at removing pressure from the rear part of the foot. However, without modification, the brace leaves substantial pressure on the forefoot during walking. The team developed a unique, two-foam insert to reduce the pressure experienced by the forefoot during walking.
The results were dramatic. Compared to a popular insole used by PC patients, the brace alone reduced pressure in peak areas by 33%. When combined with the foam insert developed by the team, pressure in peak areas was reduced by over 75%.
Brigham Young University - Provo | Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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