Content » Vol 46, Issue 8

Original report

Comparison of walking energy cost between an anterior and a posterior ankle-foot orthosis in people with foot drop

Federica Menotti , Luca Laudani , Antonello Damiani , Paola Orlando , Andrea Macaluso
Department of Human Movement, Social and Health Sciences, University of Rome Foro Italico, 00135 Rome, Italy
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1837


Objective: To compare walking energy cost between an anterior and a posterior ankle-foot orthosis in people with foot drop.
Design: Within-group comparisons.
Participants: Twenty-three adults (14 women, 9 men; mean age 56. 8 years (standard deviation 15. 4)) with foot drop.
Methods: Participants were asked to walk for 5 min at their self-selected walking speed under 3 conditions: (i) with shoes only; (ii) with a posterior ankle-foot orthosis; (iii) with an anterior ankle-foot orthosis. Spatio-temporal gait para-meters (speed, step length and step frequency) and walking energy cost per unit of distance were assessed for each walking condition. A visual analogue scale was used to quantify participants’ level of perceived comfort for the 2 orthosis.
Results: Gait spatio-temporal parameters were higher with anterior ankle-foot orthoses than with posterior ankle-foot orthoses or shoes only. Walking energy cost per unit of distance was lower with anterior than posterior ankle-foot orthosis or shoes only ((mean ± standard error) 3. 53 ± 1. 00 vs 3. 94 ± 1. 27 and 3. 98 ± 1. 53 J·kg–1·m–1 respectively; p < 0. 05) and level of perceived comfort was higher with anterior ((mean ± standard error) 8. 00 ± 1. 32) than with posterior ankle-foot orthosis ((mean ± standard error) 4. 52 ± 2. 57; p < 0. 05).
Conclusion: In people with foot drop the use of anterior ankle-foot orthoses resulted in lower energy costs of walking and higher levels of perceived comfort compared with posterior ankle-foot orthoses. Anterior ankle-foot orthoses may enable people with foot drop to walk further with less physical effort than posterior ankle-foot orthoses.

Lay Abstract


Do you want to comment on this paper? The comments will show up here and if appropriate the comments will also separately be forwarded to the authors. You need to login/create an account to comment on articles. Click here to login/create an account.