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The IM ABLE Study: A Cross-Sector, Multisite Initiative to Advance Care for Warriors and Veterans Following Neuromusculoskeletal Injury of the Lower Limb


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An estimated 20,000 military service members sustained extremity injury in the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This high number of limb injured Service Personnel catalyzed advancements in lower limb bracing technology and a focus on therapy to maximize utilization of these devices. This is a considerable problem in the Veteran and private sectors as well. It is presently unclear whether these newer (i.e. advanced) braces improve comfort and function in those with limb injury compared to bracing options formerly in use. The cost of newer devices and the associated fabrication time is rapidly climbing and some reimbursors are not paying for these newer devices. For instance, a conventional ankle-foot-orthosis has a reimbursable cost of approximately $1400. Alternatively, newer advanced bracing systems such as the Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeletal Orthosis (IDEO), are approximately twice the cost of conventional devices to fabricate. Reimbursement costs are not yet widely agreed upon, if accepted at all. If the devices truly improve function and comfort, then the initial high costs of provision may be justified. The primary objective of this clinical trial is to determine if different types of leg/foot braces will improve comfort and function in persons who have sustained injury affecting their lower limb.



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