Objective: To evaluate whether ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) has a beneficial effect on dorsiflexion angle increase during the swing phase among individuals with stroke and patient-important outcomes in individuals with stroke. Literature Survey: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs), randomized crossover trials, and cluster RCTs until May 2020 were researched through CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PEDro, CINAHL, and REHABDATA databases. Studies reporting on AFO use to improve walking, functional mobility, quality of life, and activity limitations and reports of adverse events in individuals with stroke were included. Methodology: Two independent reviewers extracted the data and assessed the risk of bias. The certainty of evidence was assessed using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations approach. Synthesis: Fourteen trials that enrolled 282 individuals with stroke and compared AFO with no AFO were included. Compared with no AFO, AFO could increase the dorsiflexion angle of ankle joints during walking (mean difference [MD, 3.7°]; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.0–5.3; low certainty of evidence). Furthermore, AFO could improve walking ability (walking speed) (MD, 0.09 [m/s]; 95% CI, 0.06–0.12; low certainty of evidence). No study had reported the effects of AFO on quality of life, adverse events, fall frequency, and activities of daily life. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that AFO improved ankle kinematics and walking ability in the short term; nonetheless, the evidence was characterized by a low degree of certainty.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Clinical Neurology