Effects of an Anterior Ankle-Foot Orthosis on Postural Stability in Stroke Patients with Hemiplegia
The problem of maintaining the posture of a hemiplegic stroke patient remains a challenging one. This study ( Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2008;87) is aiming to evaluate the effects of an anterior leaflet ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) on postural stability in stroke patients with hemiplegia.
Twenty-one stroke patients with hemiplegia resulting from new-onset stroke and ten normal subjects were included in this study.
The SMART balance master system was used to assess the postural stability by measuring the ankle strategy, maximal stability, and velocity of center-of-gravity (COG) movement under the six different conditions.
Each patient was tested with and without an anterior AFO as compared with normal subjects. When wearing an anterior AFO, patients used ankle strategy more than hip strategy to maintain postural stability in all the six sensory conditions. An anterior AFO also provided stroke patients with better maximal stability under relatively challenging conditions.
The study concluded that in the early stage of recovery, the use of an anterior AFO may assist stroke patients with hemiplegia to improve their postural stability.