Evaluation of a Dynamic Ankle Foot Orthosis in Hemiplegic Gait: A Case Report

NeuroRehabilitation. 2010;27(4):343-50. doi: 10.3233/NRE-2010-0618.

Abstract

This investigation utilized a single case design to evaluate the effects of a dynamic AFO on ambulation in post stroke hemiplegia. A single patient with stroke related hemiplegia using a dynamic AFO underwent gait analysis while walking on level ground. Outcome measures included temporal-spatial gait parameters and bilateral kinematic joint angles at the ankle, knee, and hip with and without AFO. Walking speed, stride length, step length and cadence increased with the dynamic AFO. Step width and double support decreased, while single support remained unchanged on the affected limb with the dynamic AFO. With the dynamic AFO there was increased hip flexion at foot strike and toe-off, increased hip sagittal plane angular velocity during swing, and decreased abduction. The dynamic AFO had a positive effect on the participant's overall gait which included improved temporal-spatial parameters and gait velocity which is likely due to a decrease in the overall energy cost of walking. Kinematic angles at the hip were most notably affected by brace utilization and this effect should be more fully explored. Further research with a larger sample utilizing dynamic AFOs is indicated to explore the generalizability of these findings and to determine the potential utility of these braces as an alternative to the traditionally prescribed solid AFO.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ankle
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Foot
  • Gait Disorders, Neurologic / etiology
  • Gait Disorders, Neurologic / rehabilitation*
  • Hemiplegia / etiology
  • Hemiplegia / rehabilitation
  • Hip
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Orthotic Devices*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Stroke / complications*
  • Stroke Rehabilitation
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Walking