Effects of ankle-foot orthosis on gait pattern and spatiotemporal indices during treadmill walking in hemiparetic stroke

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Ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) is known to correct abnormal gait patterns and improve walking stability and speed in patients with hemiparesis. To quantify these benefits in post-stroke gait, a three-dimensional motion analysis of gait pattern was conducted. Forty patients with hemiparesis were enrolled. A three-dimensional motion analysis system was used to analyze patients' treadmill walking with/without an AFO. Outcome measures were 12 abnormal gait indices (forefoot contact, knee extensor thrust, retropulsion of the hip, flexed-knee gait, medial whip in the stance phase, circumduction gait, hip hiking, insufficient knee flexion during the swing phase, excessive lateral shifting of the trunk, contralateral vaulting, excessive hip external rotation, and posterior pelvic tilt), calculated using kinematic data and spatiotemporal indices, and the symmetry index of double-stance and single-stance time and step length. Forefoot contact (without AFO vs. with AFO: 71.0 vs. 65.8, P < 0.001), circumduction gait (65.0 vs. 57.9, P < 0.001), and contralateral vaulting (78.2 vs. 72.2, P = 0.003) were significantly reduced, whereas excessive hip external rotation (53.7 vs. 62.8, P = 0.003) significantly increased during walking with an AFO. Hip hiking (77.1 vs. 71.7) showed marginal reduction with the use of AFO (P = 0.096). The absolute symmetry index of double-stance time (21.9 vs. 16.1, P = 0.014) significantly decreased during walking with an AFO. AFO effectively mitigates abnormal gait patterns typical of hemiparetic gait. A 3D motion analysis system with clinically oriented indices can help assess intervention efficacy for gait abnormalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-324
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Rehabilitation Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01-12-2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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