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Ankle Foot Orthosis in SCI

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Table 13: Studies of Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO) in SCI

Discussion

Both these studies (Kim et al. 2004; Arazpour et al. 2013) examined the immediate effects of an ankle-foot-orthosis after randomizing different brace conditions.  Positive effects consisted of increased gait speed, step length, cadence and improved performance on the 6 Minute Walk test. These are not typical experimental designs for an RCT as all the conditions were assessed within one single session rather than allowing subjects to accommodate to different brace conditions over several weeks or sessions.  However, it is generally recognized in the clinical field that effects from an AFO are attained immediately, although it is likely that practice over a few sessions may improve a subject’s confidence, learning and function.

Conclusion

There is level 2 evidence (Arazpour et al. 2013; Kim et al. 2004) that an ankle-foot-orthosis can enhance walking function in incomplete SCI patients who have drop-foot.

  • Ankle-foot-orthosis can enhance walking function in incomplete SCI patients who have drop-foot.