Introduction.- The aim of this study was to quantitatively analyze the effect of ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) on gait stability and to probe the use of AFO to improve walking capacity, gait stability and balance control in patients with post-stroke. Methods.- A total of 25 inpatients with prior chronic hemiparesis resulting from stroke who could walk at least 10m without assistance. The maximum walking speed and gait asymmetry index were examined using the motion analysis system. Functional balance was assessed using the Functional Ambulation Categories, Berg Balance Scale and Five-Times-Sit-to-Stand Test. Results.- The AFO had positive effects on hemiplegic gait parameters, improving walking speed, gait stability and functional balance (P < 0.01). Pair wise comparisons suggested that there were significant differences between using AFO immediately and no only on the maximum walking speed, Functional Ambulation Categories and gait asymmetry index (P < 0.05). After 4 weeks, there were significant differences the walking speed, gait asymmetry index and functional balance control (P < 0.01). Conclusion.- The AFO compensated for the instability of the gait and balance. Functional tests were performed significantly better with orthosis.
Xu, G., Lan, Y., & Zhang, Q. (2014). Effect of AFO on gait stability and balance control in patients with hemiparetic stroke. Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, 57, e21–e22. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rehab.2014.03.075