2016 Volume 28 Issue 5 Pages 1621-1628
[Purpose] Observational study investigating the influence of various ankle-foot orthoses on the spatiotemporal gait parameters and functional balance in chronic stroke patients. [Subjects and Methods] Fifteen chronic stroke patients participated in this study after providing informed consent. Two groups of patients were differentiated based on the Timed Up and Go Test. Patients were tested in three different conditions: with standard prefabricated ankle-foot orthosis (Maramed), with individualized ankle-foot orthosis (Y-tech), and without any ankle-foot orthrosis. Spatiotemporal gait parameters were obtained by walking on an instrumented walkway (GAITRite®) at usual and fastest speed. Balance was assessed with Timed Up and Go Test, Step Test, and Four Square Step Test. [Results] Maramed and Y-tech significantly improved the spatiotemporal parameters while walking at usual and maximal speed (single support time affected side; double support time affected side and step length unaffected side). The Y-tech in addition improved velocity and cadence. Among the balance tests, only the Timed Up and Go test showed improvements in favor of Maramed and Y-tech. [Conclusion] Patients benefited from wearing orthosis at both usual and maximal speed, irrespective of whether they wore Maramed or Y-tech. Only severe stroke patients benefited from wearing an orthoses compared to mild impaired group.