Optimising the effects of rigid ankle foot orthoses on the gait of children with cerebral palsy (CP) - an exploratory trial
van der Linden, Marietta
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Jagadamma, K., Coutts, F., Mercer, T., Herman, J., Yirrell, J., Forbes, L. & van der Linden, M. (2014) Optimising the effects of rigid ankle foot orthoses on the gait of children with cerebral palsy (CP) - an exploratory trial, Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, vol. 10, , pp. 445-451,
Purpose: This exploratory trial investigated the effects of rigid ankle foot orthoses (AFO) with an optimally cast Angle of the Ankle in the AFO (AAAFO) on the gait of children with Cerebral Palsy (CP), and whether tuning of the AFO - Footwear Combination (AFO-FC) further affected gait. Methods: Eight children with CP underwent gait analysis and tuning of their AFO-FCs using a 3-D motion analysis system. Comparisons were carried out for selected gait parameters between three conditions - barefoot, non-tuned AFO-FC and tuned AFO-FC. Results: In comparison to barefoot gait, walking with a non-tuned AFO-FC produced significant (p50.05) improvements in several key gait parameters. Compared to the non-tuned AFO-FC, on average a tuned AFO-FC produced a significant reduction in peak knee extension and knee ROM during gait. However, when examined as case studies, it was observed that the type of gait pattern demonstrated while wearing a non-tuned AFO-FC affected the outcomes of tuning. Conclusions: The findings of the current study indicate the potential benefits of using rigid AFO-FC with optimal AAAFO and tuning of AFO-FCs. This study emphasises the need for categorising children with CP based on their gait patterns when investigating the effects of interventions such as AFOs.