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Goulipian C., Bensoussan L., Viton J. M., Milhe-De Bovis V., Ramon J., Delarque A.
Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Faculty of Medicine Mediterranean University Public Hospital System of Marseille
La Timone University Hospital, Marseille, France
Our aim was to evaluate with modern tools the efficacy of orthopedic shoes on gait disorders in Friedreich’s ataxia. The case of a 26-year-old woman with Friedreich’s ataxia is described. She mainly complained of fatigability, ankle instability, frequent falls and pain. Impairments involved a cerebellar syndrome, a proprioceptive deficit, an upper motor neurone syndrome and osteoarticular deformities. Gait disabilities included ataxia and requirement of a cane. Handicap concerned outings, altering quality of life. Orthopedic shoes combined with physical therapy were prescribed. Assessment of treatment was planned after one month. Self-assessment by the patient was noted. Clinical assessment was provided by physical examination and clinical gait analysis supported by video. Quantified assessment was performed with a Gaitrite® system recording spatiotemporal gait parameters. Our results demonstrated that orthopedic shoes improved gait disorders in this patient with Friedreich’s ataxia. Pain decreased, walking distance increased, falls were less frequent, going out became possible, stability was better, speed, step length and cadence increased. Both clinical and quantified assessment confirmed functional improvement felt by the patient. In conclusion complete medical and social assessment determines quality of prescription in physical and rehabilitation medicine.