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Dufek Janet S. PhD; Mercer, John A. MS; Kosta, Cheryl Sherwood PT; Fish, Deanna J. MS, CPO
JPO Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics: October 1997
Original Article: PDF Only


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the metabolic efficiency of walking with and without a rigid rotational-control ankle-foot orthosis. Heart rate and Borg's rating of perceived exertion also were evaluated to investigate their relationships to physiological system responses (VO2).

Six volunteer patients walked on a treadmill in unbraced and braced conditions while VO2, heart rate and the rating of perceived exertion were evaluated. During the braced condition, subjects reduced their energy expenditure by more than 5 percent and reduced their ratings of perceived exertion. Heart rate responses also were lower while braced. High correlations were observed between VO2 and heart rate (r=0.884) and VO2 and rating of perceived exertion (r=0.930), suggesting their usefulness as clinically feasible measures of exertion.

© 1997 American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists