Despite severe lower-extremity injuries, a number of elite soldiers have returned to active duty, even combat, as a result of an integrated orthotic and rehabilitation program, research presented last week at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons' annual meeting has found. Treatment included use of the Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeletal Orthosis, a custom-fit ankle-foot orthosis that enables patients to experience more mobility and a more active rehabilitation. The study looked at 14 Special Operations Command personnel who used the system and found that 13 were able to return to duty and seven to combat duty -- and, in three cases, amputation was an option being considered before therapy.

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