The effects of ankle foot orthoses on energy recovery and work during gait in children with cerebral palsy.
Even when wearing an ankle- foot orthoses (AFO), children with cerebral Palsy (CP) commonly expend 2-3 times more energy when walking than a typical developing child. This brace is often a standard prescription for CP children to support gait. In this study, 21 subjects walked at a self selected speed while an 8 camera and marker system was used to collect data of gait with and without use of AFO.
Wearing AFO an increase in stride length was seen and a tendency to increase speed of gait. Increase in stride length impacted the excursion of the Centre of Mass to a normal degree. Work per meter was not altered, although generally a more pendular gait was produced, allowing increased energy recovery, this effect was negated by the increased energy needed for the larger strides .
Overall there was little statistical significant change in most parameters with or without AFO. However, individual improvement or degradation of gait was often quite marked. Thereby indicating that the AFO used was not beneficial to all candidates. The authors concluded that additional attention needs to be paid to the gait characteristics of individuals and what AFO characteristics would be of benefit, instead of a standard prescription. > From: Bradford et al., Clin Biomech 27 (2012) 287–291. All rights reserved to Elsevier Ltd.
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