London

Man first to use computer-controlled leg brace

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Media captionThe brace costs between £40-60,000

A man who has been unable to walk since he was a child has become the first person in the UK to use an advanced new leg brace.

The C-Brace aims to help people with partial paralysis, spinal injuries, post-stroke and post-polio syndrome.

It uses a built-in microprocessor and sensors to allow the knee to control walking.

John Simpson, from Wimbledon, London, said the lower-limb bionic exoskeleton brace would "change my life".

The 63-year-old's nerves were so damaged after having polio that he was unable to walk despite operations.

Physiotherapy and other treatments also did not work and he has relied on a leg brace to help him walk since he was 14.

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Image caption John Simpson says he can walk again without fearing that his leg will give way

"For as long as I can remember, I've had to walk with a locked-knee, which is awkward, cumbersome and puts great strain on my lower back," he said.

"In all the years I've been wearing calipers, the most innovative development until now was the addition of Velcro, so the C-Brace is a revolution," said Mr Simpson.

"I can walk naturally again, without fear that my leg will give way, leading to a fall. I can walk downstairs with a bent knee and without fear as the brace provides support intuitively."

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