Biomechanical and electromyographic evaluation of ankle foot orthosis and dynamic ankle foot orthosis in spastic cerebral palsy

Gait Posture. 2005 Nov;22(3):189-97. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2004.09.011. Epub 2004 Dec 8.


This study evaluated the biomechanical and electromyographic effects of conventional ankle foot orthoses (AFOs) and dynamic ankle foot orthoses (DAFOs) on gait in patients with spastic cerebral palsy (CP). Thirteen patients with dynamic equinus underwent motion analysis with electromyography. Both AFOs and DAFOs provided longer stride length, permitted pre-positioning for initial contact, and successfully controlled the excessive plantarflexion during the swing phase. Median frequency (MF) of EMG signal indicated that extremely high firing was found in the patient's lower limbs compared to controls that resulted in tiredness. The DAFOs allowed a significantly larger total ankle range of motion than the AFOs. However, AFOs significantly reduced the MF while DAFOs did not. The reduced MF seen when wearing AFOs suggested an improvement of walking endurance. The DAFO had the advantage of less restriction on ankle movement, which avoids muscular atrophy and improves orthotic compliance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ankle Joint* / physiopathology
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology*
  • Cerebral Palsy / rehabilitation
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Foot
  • Gait*
  • Hip Joint / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Muscle Spasticity
  • Orthotic Devices*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Walking