This study analyzed the effects of tone-reducing features in ankle-foot orthotics (AFOs) on the gait of eight children (ages 4–11 years) with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy. A standard gait analysis was performed on each subject in each of three trial orthotics and in a baseline shoes-only condition. A 4-week accommodation period was allotted for each of the three devices: a standard hinged AFO, an AFO with tone-reducing features, and a supramalleolar orthotic with tone-reducing features. Most significant differences were at the ankle, between free-ankle and plantar flexion-limiting conditions. No significant functional changes in gait were evident with the addition of tone-reducing properties to a standard articulating AFO.
Study conducted at Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.
From *Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas; †Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, Delaware; ‡University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, U.S.A.
Address corresondence and requests for reprints to Dr. F. Miller, Department of Orthopaedics, Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, P.O. Box 269, Wilmington, DE 19899, U.S.A. E-mail: fmiller@ nemours.org