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Timothy L. Vollmer, MD
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Department of Neurology
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Co-Director of the RMMSC at Anschutz Medical Center
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Thursday

 
The Effect of an AFO-shaped Elastic Band on Drop-foot Gait in Patients with Central Neurological Lesions

We investigated the effectiveness of an AFO-shaped band as an assistive walking device in patients with neurological lesions. The participants included 11 patients with a recent history of a CVA and one multiple sclerosis patient. In each patient, the order of conditions (AFO, AFO-shaped band, barefoot) was randomized. Participants were required to walk on the GAITRite mat twice during each condition. The average gait velocity among patients using the AFO-shaped elastic band was significantly higher than those under barefoot conditions (p = 0.015). Participants using the AFO-shaped elastic band also showed a significantly higher average number of steps per minute (cadence) as compared with the barefoot and AFO conditions (p = 0.007). Significant differences in stride length on the unaffected side were found between the AFO-shaped band and barefoot conditions (p = 0.029). Our results indicated that the AFO-shaped elastic band could be useful for patients with central neurological lesions with respect to gait, especially walking velocity, cadence, and stride length on the affected side. Thus, the AFO-shaped elastic band could be a practical tool for clinicians to train patients with central neurological lesions to walk.


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