The importance of being earnest about shank and thigh kinematics especially when using ankle-foot orthoses

Prosthet Orthot Int. 2010 Sep;34(3):254-69. doi: 10.3109/03093646.2010.485597.


This paper reviews and summarizes the evidence for important observations of normal and pathological gait and presents an approach to rehabilitation and orthotic management, which is based on the significance of shank and thigh kinematics for standing and gait. It discusses normal gait biomechanics, challenging some traditional beliefs, the interrelationship between segment kinematics, joint kinematics and kinetics and their relationship to orthotic design, alignment and tuning. It proposes a description of four rather than three rockers in gait; a simple categorization of pathological gait based on shank kinematics abnormality; an algorithm for the designing, aligning and tuning of AFO-Footwear Combinations; and an algorithm for determining the sagittal angle of the ankle in an AFO. It reports the results of research on Shank to Vertical Angle alignment of tuned AFO-Footwear Combinations and on the use of 'point loading' rocker soles.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Ankle Joint*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena / physiology
  • Foot Joints*
  • Gait / physiology
  • Humans
  • Orthotic Devices*
  • Thigh / physiology
  • Upper Extremity / physiology*