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.
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.
Msechu ZB, Zaheer Qureshi A, Drew T. Effect of Posterior Leaf Spring and Carbon Composite Ankle Foot Orthosis on Gait and Functional Mobility of Stroke Survivors with Hemiplegia: A Randomized Clinical Trial. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2023 Sep 21;21(4), Article 18.