2021/12 Does Gait with an Ankle Foot Orthosis Improve or Compromise Minimum Foot Clearance?


“The purpose of this study was to investigate if the use of an ankle foot orthosis in passive mode (without actuation) could modify minimum foot clearance, and if there are any compensatory mechanisms to enable these changes during treadmill gait at a constant speed. Eight participants walked on an instrumented treadmill without and with an ankle foot orthosis on the dominant limb at speeds of 0.8, 1.2, and 1.6 km/h. For each gait cycle, the minimum foot clearance and some gait linear kinematic parameters were calculated by an inertial motion capture system. Additionally, maximum hip and knee flexion and maximum ankle plantar flexion were calculated. There were no significant differences in the minimum foot clearance between gait conditions and lower limbs. However, differences were found in the swing, stance and step times between gait conditions, as well as between limbs during gait with orthosis (p < 0.05). An increase in hip flexion during gait with orthosis was observed for all speeds, and different ankle ranges of motion were observed according to speed (p < 0.05). Thus, the use of an ankle foot orthosis in passive mode does not significantly hinder minimum foot clearance, but can change gait linear and angular parameters in non-pathological individuals.”