Neuroprosthesis for footdrop compared with an ankle-foot orthosis: effects on postural control during walking.

Ring H, Treger I, Gruendlinger L, Hausdorff JM

This study compared the effects of a radio frequency-controlled neuroprosthesis on gait stability and symmetry to the effects obtained with a standard ankle-foot orthosis (AFO). 15 patients with prior chronic hemiparesis resulting from stroke or traumatic brain injury whose walking was impaired by footdrop and regularly used an AFO participated in the study. There was a 4-week adaptation period during which participants increased their daily use of the neuroprosthesis, while using the AFO for the rest of the day. Gait was then assessed in a 6-minute walk while wearing force-sensitive insoles, by using the neuroprosthesis and the AFO in a randomized order. An additional gait assessment was conducted after using the neuroprosthesis for a further 4 weeks.

Compared with AFO, the studied neuroprosthesis appears to enhance balance control during walking and, thus, more effectively manage footdrop.

Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disorders, 2009, 18(1), 41-7

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