Purpose: The study was carried out as a randomized clinical trial to assess the effect of posterior leaf spring ankle foot orthosis (PLS-AFO) and carbon composite ankle foot orthosis (C-AFO) on functional mobility, walking speed and satisfaction among stroke survivors with hemiplegia. Methods: Twenty-seven ambulatory stroke survivors with hemiplegia who had completed a rehabilitation program and were already using an ankle foot orthosis (AFO) were included in the study. Subjects were randomly assigned either PLS-AFO or C-AFO and assessment was done with and without their AFOs. Functional mobility, walking speed, and satisfaction were assessed using the Timed Up and Go test, the 10-meters walking test and the Client Satisfaction with Device questionnaire, respectively. Results: Both types of AFO improved functional mobility. C-AFO and PLS-AFO reduced Timed Up and Go test time by 7 seconds (22.4%), and 4.4 seconds (10.5%) respectively. Self-selected walking speed increased in AFO users by 0.20 m/s (40%) and 0.10 m/s (33.3%) for C-AFO and PLS-AFO, respectively. No changes were observed during the fast-walking speed. With both AFOs, participants were satisfied in terms of weight, fit and comfort (>90%). Conclusion: It is concluded that both PLS-AFO and C-AFO can improve the walking ability of stroke survivors with hemiplegia. C-AFO demonstrated better self-selected walking speed and functional mobility as compared to PLS-AFO. Neither of the AFOs improved the fast-walking speed. Both AFOs provided a high level of user satisfaction.

Author Bio(s)

Zidikheri Bashiri Msechu, BSc. P&O, MSc. Orthopaedic & Rehabilitation Technology is a Senior CPO at Rehabilitation Technology Department of King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. His also a Head of Orthotic Service at the same institute.

Dr. Ahmad Zaheer Qureshi MBBS, FCPS (PMR) is Subspecialty Consultant at the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh Saudi Arabia. He is also the Medical Director of Stroke Rehabilitation program at the same institute.

Dr Tim Drew, Chartered Mechanical Engineer, PhD in Medical Physics, is a Non-Clinical Senior Lecturer within the Department of Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery in Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, University of Dundee. He is also the Distance Learning Coordinator.


We thank Research Centre King Fahad Medical City Riyadh for funding the study (IRF 018 – 025) and we are grateful to Mr. Tariq Ahmad Wani for assistance in statistical analysis.




Submission Location


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