Student-designed brace gets children with clubfoot on their feet

Stanford students have designed a brace that literally gets young children on their feet. The miraclefeet brace is a lightweight, child- and parent-friendly device created to treat children afflicted with clubfoot.

The brace came out of the Stanford class “Design for Extreme Affordability” at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, better known as the d.school. Members of the class were teamed up with nonprofit partners and asked to create a product that would address a real-world need.

Clubfoot is a congenital deformity in which one or both of a child’s feet look like they have been rotated internally at the ankle. The traditional treatment for clubfoot requires years of orthopedic braces and shoes costing hundreds of dollars. In contrast, the price tag for the miraclefeet brace is less than $20.

“Their colorful, injection molded brace locks the patient’s feet into a therapeutic position while the light plastic frame makes it possible for kids to stand and play on their own. People watching the kids bound around in their braces might even think that the device was a new toy,” writes JOSEPH FLAHERTY in a recent article in Wired magazine

The video below features JEFF YANG, a graduate student in materials science and engineering, and IAN CONNOLLY, a graduate student in mechanical engineering, in Brazil as they demonstrate their design in action.