Journal of Neurosciences in Rural Practice
 
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 544-549

Role of ankle foot orthosis in improving locomotion and functional recovery in patients with stroke: A prospective rehabilitation study


1 Department of Neurological Rehabilitation, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Neurological Rehabilitation; Department of Neurology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Biostatistics, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Anupam Gupta
Department of Neurological Rehabilitation, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0976-3147.185507

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Objective: To study role of ankle foot orthosis (AFO) in improving locomotion and functional recovery after stroke. Setting: Neurological Rehabilitation Department of a university research tertiary hospital. Patients and Methods: AFO and activity based rehabilitation. Main Outcome Measures: Distance (meters) covered during the 6-minute walk test (6MWT) and speed (meter/second) during the 10-meter walk test. Functional abilities assessed using Functional Independence Measure (FIM®). Results: Twenty-six patients (21 male) with stroke (mean duration 196.7 days, range 45–360 days) and mean age of 41.6 years (range 18–65 years, standard deviation [SD] 12.5) were included. Fourteen had right hemiplegia. The mean length of stay in the unit was 26.5 days (range 18–45 days, SD 5.5). All patients had equinus deformity with spastic foot drop and were provided with AFO. Walking endurance with 6MWT was 90 m on admission (without AFO). At discharge, it improved to 174 m with AFO and 121 m without AFOs (P < 0.001-with and without AFO at discharge). Walking speed improved from 0.4 m/s (admission) to 0.51 m/s with AFO, P= 0.004 and 0.45 m/s without AFO, P = 0.015) at discharge. Nine patients (34.6%) had clinically important difference-minimal clinically important difference (>0.16 m/s speed gain; >50 m endurance gain) at discharge. The mean FIM® score on admission was 84.3 ± 18.6. At discharge FIM® improved to 101.9 ± 13.7 (P < 0.001). Conclusions: Use of AFOs improve gait parameters significantly in only one-third stroke patients in the study when combined with activity-based inpatient-rehabilitation.


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