Skulls, Jolly Roger, and glitter dust in hot pink. Not everyone has the courage to wear a combination like that. But Hanna does. For her, optics have a very different meaning than for adults wearing orthoses who like to keep it plain and simple.
Hanna is eleven years old and she is a sporty, cheerful girl. Her left leg is paralysed and shorter than the right one. Since she was three years old, Hanna has worn an orthosis that supports her when lifting her foot and when walking and standing securely. Hanna wears an orthosis with the automatic knee joint system NEURO TRONIC.
The motion sensors on the orthosis recognise if Hanna wants to stand, walk or run. They control the knee joint system while walking and running in a way that secures her knee before her foot touches the ground and ensure that it stays that way until the foot lifts from the ground. Then, the sensors unlock the system knee joint, enabling the leg to swing freely and Hanna to walk without stumbling. If Hanna stands, the system knee joint locks.
Despite or perhaps because of her young age, she handles the technique very well. She knows exactly when to best use the different modes Auto, Free and Lock. She always carries her remote control with her.
Every morning, Hanna takes the bus to school with her brother. She easily manages the step into the bus. When she walks, she uses the Auto mode. With the help of the motion sensor, the system joint locks when it is necessary and unlocks as soon as it is required. Hanna switches the joint into Free mode when she arrives at her seat in the classroom in order to bend her knee and sit down. She can participate in PE lessons just as her classmates, with only few alternative exercises for Hanna. After school, Hanna meets up with her friends, takes out the family dog Berti or practices one of her hobbies.
She attends fistball practice once a week. In fistball, every player has their own assigned position, which they cover as best as they can. Players have to defend the field and play the ball into the opponent's field. Hanna is a popular player in her team. Another hobby of hers is horse riding. In addition to actually being on horseback, tasks such as clearing out the stables, cleaning, feeding and walking the horses are a part of the hobby. Hanna manages all of this with her orthosis. The Icelandic horse Draki, her favourite, does not really care about Hanna's leg. What counts for him are the gestures, her support, and her voice.
When you get to know Hanna, you can see that she has a good perception of her body. With her friends, she shares video clips via a music app where you can dance to popular songs. But her hobbies in sports as well as physiotherapy also support Hanna in training and being able to assess her body. With her orthosis, Hanna can shape her everyday life independently. It provides her with stability and supports her in all of her plans. And Hanna has a lot of them.