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Techniques to measure rigidity of ankle-foot orthosis: A review

Author(s): Toshiki Kobayashi, PhD | Aaron K. L. Leung, PhD | Stephen W. Hutchins, PhD

Journal: Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
ISSN 0748-7711

Volume: 48;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 565;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: AFO | ankle-foot orthosis | cerebral palsy | flexibility | hemiplegia | mechanical test | rigidity | spinal cord injury | stiffness | stroke | testing and measurement

We performed this review to provide a clearer understanding of how to effectively measure ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) rigidity. This information is important to ensure appropriate orthotic intervention in the treatment of patients with pathological gait. The two main approaches to the investigation of AFO rigidity are (1) bench-testing analyses, in which an AFO is fixed or attached to a measurement device, and (2) functional analyses, in which measurements are taken while a subject is walking with an AFO in situ. This review summarizes and classifies the current state of knowledge of AFO rigidity testing methods. We analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of the methods in order to recommend the most reliable techniques to measure AFO rigidity. The information obtained from this review article would, therefore, benefit both clinicians and engineers involved in the application and design of AFOs.
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