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Effects of a Foot Drop Neuroprosthesis on Functional Abilities, Social Participation, and Gait Velocity

Laufer, Yocheved PT, DSc; Hausdorff, Jeffrey M. PhD; Ring, Haim MD, MSc

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: January 2009 - Volume 88 - Issue 1 - p 14-20
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e3181911246
Original Research Article: Gait

Laufer Y, Hausdorff JM, Ring H: Effects of a foot drop neuroprosthesis on functional abilities, social participation, and gait velocity.

Objective: To determine the long-term effects of a neuroprosthesis used to correct a foot drop on functional ability in activities of daily living, social participation, and gait velocity.

Design: Prospective, single group, repeated measures 1-yr follow-up of 16 patients (aged 55 ± 14.6 yrs) with chronic hemiparesis who used a neuroprosthesis for 1 yr and were available for follow-up. Outcome measures included the Short Version of the Stroke Impact Scale, the Participation domain of the Stroke Impact Scale, and the gait velocity.

Results: Significant increases of 18.0% in physical functioning and of 25.2% in participation in community life were attained 2 mos after the application of the neuroprosthesis. The gains were maintained at the 1-yr follow-up. Gait velocity increased significantly by 29.2% by 2 mos, with significant further increases of 22.6% observed at the 1-yr follow-up.

Conclusions: Use of the studied neuroprosthesis to correct foot drop significantly enhanced functional abilities, social reintegration, and gait velocity. These results support the prolonged use of the neuroprosthesis in patients with chronic hemiparesis.

From the Department of Physical Therapy, The Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, The University of Haifa, Haifa (YL); Movement Disorders Unit, Neurology Department, Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (JMH); Departments of Physical Therapy (JMH) and Rehabilitation Medicine (HR), Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel; Division on Aging, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts (JMH); and Neurological Rehabilitation Department, Loewenstein Rehabilitation Center, Ranana, Israel (HR).

All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Yocheved Laufer, PT, DSc, Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Studies, Eshchol Building, Room 910, University of Haifa, Haifa 31905, Israel.

Portions of this work were presented at the International Stroke Conference February 2008, New Orleans, Louisiana. This work was partially supported by Bioness Neuromodulation Ltd.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.