The modification of a new design in orthosis usually has its clinical indication. In this study, a low-temperature thermoplastic ankle foot orthosis (AFO) was designed in anterior leaf type, called anterior AFO, to meet the need of indoor barefoot walking in Taiwan. It could be easily molded and remolded to fit the foot, as well as to adjust the position of the foot and ankle
Sixty-eight patients with acute hemiplegia were fitted with this anterior AFO during ambulation training: 46 had good fitting (67.6%), 15 had fair fitting (22.1%) and 7 had poor fitting (10.3%). Two patients were observed to have ankle clonus, and four patients experienced breakage or tear of the AFO within 4 wk.
The gait characteristics were measured in six chronic hemiplegia patients to compare the effect of anterior AFO with posterior AFO (Teufel style). Their gait pattern did improve by AFO fitting, especially from the foot pressure distribution, but no significant difference between the two types of AFO was found.
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