“The Agilium Freestep has completely changed the way I am approaching the treatment on knee OA.”

Stuart Birtwistle has become one of the first patients in the UK to be fitted with Agilium Freestep and is walking more confidently with every step.

Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee is a common musculoskeletal condition in adults that leaves the sufferer in considerable pain, immobile and disabled. Ottobock, manufacturer of prosthetic and orthotic technology, has launched a new alternative for effectively treating knee OA – the most common type of OA. The Agilium Freestep realigns the knee and ankle joints correctly – rather than applying a corrective force. The first patient to be treated with the new brace has claimed the Agilium has made him more confident, improved his gait and reduced both knee and ankle pain.

Patients with knee OA have progressive loss of cartilage, more commonly on the inside of the knee. This typically results in a bow-legged stance, causing difficulty walking and significant pain for the sufferer. Orthotic treatment of knee OA typically includes the use of a knee brace that applies force to the knee to realign it. These bulky braces put great pressure on the knee for the user and can slip and become uncomfortable. More pain means less activity, reducing the well-being and overall quality of life for the individual.

“I’ve suffered from Arthritis for many years,” said Stuart Birtwistle, the first patient in the UK to be fitted with the device. “I’m 72 years old and have tried just about every brace on the market. I should have had knee surgery a long time ago but for one reason or another I haven’t – I work in the building trade as a plumber, so my knees have had a hard time. From the moment I put on the Agilium brace, I noticed a difference in my walking. I felt more confident and am now able to walk up and down stairs with more ease. The pain has reduced significantly – it used to wake me up at night but I don’t get that anymore. I’m able to spend more time on my feet now and I don’t need to pick my way around – I’m even moving furniture on my own!”

Lindsay Nolan, Orthotist at The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust added “The Agilium Freestep has completely changed the way I am approaching the treatment on knee OA. It’s easy to fit and only requires a pair of scissors to cut the foot piece. The Agilium Freestep doesn’t slip like conventional braces, fits nicely in footwear and is lightweight and low profile. It’s also much more cost effective than an OA knee brace. The dynamic brace only acts whilst the patient is weight-bearing so there’s no constant pressure as with traditional braces. The results I’ve seen mean that patients can reduce their consumption of pain killers and because they are pain-free they are naturally more active. Being more active improves the circulation of synovial fluid and improves the supply of nutrients to the joint.”

Ottobock’s new, innovative Agilium Freestep is a non-invasive orthotic device that sits inside the shoe and which, by means of a foot plate and a vertical strut that runs up the side of the leg, changes the ground force reaction by realigning the knee and ankle joint as the patient walks. It applies a very gentle force that only comes into action at the point that it is actually required which has the effect of reducing the painful rotation that takes place around the knee. The side strut keeps the ankle in the optimum alignment and reduces the ankle’s ability to compensate for the changes. For the user, this results in reduced pain, less bulk and less force and pressure on the knee.

The Agilium Freestep has been tested to three million steps and has no weight limit (tested to 150kg). It has recently been awarded an iF Design award for innovative product design. The iF label is a worldwide seal of excellent quality, functionality and manufacturing.

To arrange for a demonstration of the Agilium Freestep, contact Ottobock on 01784 744 900 or email To find out if you’re suitable to try the Agilium Freestep, contact your Consultant, Orthotist, Physiotherapist or GP

Over 7,000 healthcare professionals stay informed about the latest assistive technology with AT Today. Do you?
We respect your privacy