2013 Volume 25 Issue 11 Pages 1437-1443
[Purpose] The aim of this study was to investigate the changes in mechanical energy due to continuous use of a plantar flexion resistive ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) of subjects with chronic hemiplegia. [Subjects and Methods] The subjects were 5 hemiplegic patients using AFOs without a plantar flexion resistive function in their daily lives. We analyzed the gait of the subjects using a 3D motion capture system under three conditions: patients’ use of their own AFOs; after being fitted with a plantar flexion resistive AFO; and after continuous use of the device. The gait efficiency was determined by calculating the mutual exchange of kinetic and potential energy of the center of mass. [Results] An increased exchange rate of the kinetic and potential energy was found for all subjects. A larger increase of energy exchange was shown on the non-paralyzed side, and after continuous use of the plantar flexion resistive AFO. [Conclusion] We found that continuous use of a plantar flexion resistive AFO increased the rate of mutual exchange between kinetic energy and potential energy. The change in the rate was closely related to the role of the non-paretic side, showing that the subjects needed a certain amount of time to adapt to the plantar flexion resistive AFO.