The effect of an ankle-foot orthosis on temporal spatial parameters and asymmetry of gait in hemiparetic patients.

PM&R

PubMedID: 19942187

Esquenazi A, Ofluoglu D, Hirai B, Kim S. The effect of an ankle-foot orthosis on temporal spatial parameters and asymmetry of gait in hemiparetic patients. PM R. 2009;1(11):1014-8.
OBJECTIVE
To investigate the effect of an ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) on certain walking parameters in patients with hemiplegia.

DESIGN
Retrospective study.

SETTING
Gait and Motion Analysis Laboratory at MossRehab.

PARTICIPANTS
A total of 1150 records of patients with stroke who were referred to the Gait and Motion Analysis Laboratory between 2000 and 2008 for an evaluation of their walking. Of this group, 217 patients wore braces at the time of the gait evaluation and were selected for a more in-depth review. Among these patients, 42 records were selected because of the existence of available data from temporal spatial analysis meeting 2 conditions: walking with bare feet and walking with an AFO during the same visit. METHODS AND MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: Under both conditions, temporal spatial parameters of gait, including self-selected velocity, cadence, stance time, swing time, double support time, step length, and width of the base of support, were assessed by the use of an electronic gait mat (Gait Mat II, EQ Inc.) originally designed in the Moss Rehabilitation Engineering Center.

RESULTS
Walking velocity, cadence, percent stance, double support, and step length significantly increased, whereas affected side percent swing and width of the base of support decreased when patients used an AFO. Symmetries of stance time (P = .0001) and step length (P = .002) improved as well when patients used an AFO compared with walking barefoot.

CONCLUSION
In this sample of patients with stroke, the use of an AFO improved the symmetry of several of the temporal spatial parameters of gait, and consequently, the gait pattern of these hemiparetic patients was enhanced.