The article discusses motion of a healthy knee joint in the sagittal plane and motion of an injured knee joint supported by an active orthosis. A kinematic scheme of a mechanism for the simulation of a knee joint motion is developed and motion of healthy and injured knee joints are modelled in Matlab. Angles between links, which simulate the femur and tibia are controlled by Simulink block of Model predictive control (MPC). The results of simulation have been compared with several samples of real motion of the human knee joint obtained from motion capture systems. On the basis of these analyses and also of the analysis of the forces in human lower limbs created at motion, an active smart orthosis is developed. The orthosis design was optimized to achieve an energy saving system with sufficient anatomy, necessary reliability, easy exploitation and low cost. With the orthosis it is possible to unload the knee joint, and also partially or fully compensate muscle forces required for the bending of the lower limb.