Hart Walker
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Hart Walker

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Hart Orthotic System

The Hart Orthosis also known as Hart Walker or Hart Orthotic System was originally designed in 1989 by David Hart. Though the original design, the MK I, was greatly beneficial to those children that utilized the system there were limitations with the system.

In 1993 the MK II was introduced as the next version of the orthosis. This redesigned vision greatly improved the responsiveness of the system to the child's stability and longevity of the system.

The Hart Orthosis is a stand alone bracing system which can be utilized with different types of wheeled bases to insure the child's stability. The bracing system can be used with a 4 wheel, 3 wheel, 2 wheel, stabilizer or no base frame at all.

The Hart Orthosis was designed specifically for children with cerebral palsy and similar disorders. The system works by creating a stable base for the child while utilizing long leg orthoses to place the child's body in a move natural alignment. The bracing system, through the harnessing of the child's power, then guides the child's lower extremities through the different phases of gait, preventing deviations within the child's ambulation. The Hart Orthosis allows the child to make progress toward independent mobility, permitting a child to stand and learn to walk without the need of using his/her hands.

This not only leaves the child's hands free to use in interaction with the environment, but offers children with the little or no hand control the opportunity to ambulate upright on their own accord. Through the use of the Hart Orthosis the child's muscles do their motor learning while the body is properly aligned. With the use of specialized mechanisms, reciprocating gait is encouraged. These mechanisms can also be adjusted to alter step length, as well as to encourage the use of the child's weaker side, thus strengthening the weaker side.

Today's conventional system train children to ambulate while bearing weight on their arms or pelvis. The Hart Orthosis, on the other hand, trains children to ambulate bearing the weight through their legs while allowing children to ambulate hands free in the correct tri-planeal alignment. Improvements in respiration, bladder and bowel control, self-esteem and independence may be observed through the use of the Hart Orthosis. Other areas such as bone mass development and muscle strength may be improved. The onset of contractures, which are rather common when children are confined to a wheelchair, can also be minimized by the children's utilization of this particular system. The Hart Orthosis is designed to grow with the child. The varying sections of the bracing system can be extended to match the growth of the child, thus increasing the longevity of the apparatus.

J & J Artificial Limb and Brace is the sole provider of the Hart Orthotic System in Southern California. For more information and Demo trials please contact our office.