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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2010 September;46(3):363-8

Copyright © 2010 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

The ankle-foot orthosis improves balance and reduces fall risk of chronic spastic hemiparetic patients

Cakar E. 1, Durmus O. 1, Tekin L. 2, Dincer U. 1, Kiralp M. Z. 1

1 Gülhane Military Medical Academy, Haydarpasa Training Hospital, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Istanbul, Turkey; 2 Corlu Military Hospital, Tekirdag, Turkey


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BACKGROUND: Ankle foot orthoses (AFO) are commonly used orthotic device in order to restore the ankle foot function and to improve the balance and gait in post-stroke hemiparetic patients. However, there remain some discussions about their effectiveness on long term hemiparetic patients who had mild to moderate spasticity.
AIM: To investigate the relative effect of prefabricated thermoplastic posterior leaf spring AFO (PLS-AFO) on balance and fall risk.
DESIGN: A cross-over interventional study
SETTING: The Department of PMR of a tertiary hospital.
POPULATION: Twenty-five chronic post-stroke long duration hemiparetic patients who had Ashworth grade 1-2 spasticity at affected calf muscles and lower limb Brunnstrom stage 2-3 and also able to walk independently without an assistive device.
METHODS: Berg Balance Scale (BERG), and the postural stability test (PST) and the fall risk test (FRT) of Biodex balance systems were used for the assessments. All of the patients were assessed with AFO and without AFO. All assessments were made with footwear.
RESULTS: The mean post-stroke duration was 20,32±7,46 months. The BERG scores were 42,12±9,05 without AFO and 47,52±7,77 with AFO; the overall stability scores of FRT were 3,35±1,97 without AFO and 2,69±1,65 with AFO (P<0,001).
CONCLUSION: It was found that the prefabricated thermoplastic PLS-AFO improve balance and provide fall risk reduction in chronic post-stroke ambulatory hemiparetic patients who had mild to moderate spasticity on their affected lower limb.
Clinical rehabilitation impact. These results encourage the usage of AFO on long duration hemiparetic patients in order to provide better balance and lesser fall risk.

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