Document Type: Technical Note

Authors

1 PhD, Department of Orthotics and Prosthetics, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 PhD, Researcher in International University of Health and Welfare, Japan, Tokyo

3 PhD, Mechanical Engineering Department, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

4 PhD, International University of Health and Welfare, Tokyo, Japan

Abstract

Ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs) have been described to have positive effects on the gait biomechanics in stroke patients. The plantarflexion resistance of an AFO is considered important for hemiplegic patients, but the evidence is still limited. The purpose of this case series was to design and evaluate the immediate effect of an articulated AFO on kinematics and kinetics of lower-limb joints in stroke patients. The articulated AFO with the adjustment of plantarflexion resistance was designed. The spring generates a plantarflexion resistance of the ankle joint at initial stance phase. The efficacy of orthosis was evaluated on two stroke patients in 2 conditions: without an AFO and with the AFO. Results showed the immediate improvements for walking speed, stride length and angular changes of dorsiflexion of the paretic ankle joint during a gait cycle of both subjects using the AFO compared with barefoot walking. The AFO also was able to reduce the paretic knee extension in the single-support phase of the stance and increase the vertical COM displacement during stance phase on the affected leg. In conclusion, the designed AFO affect not only the movement of the ankle joint but also the movements of the knee joint and the vertical COM height. These changes indicate improvement of the first and the second rockers and swing phase gait but not third rocker function. Further investigation is recently underway to compare its effect compared with other AFOs on the gait parameters of hemiplegic patients. 

Keywords

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