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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1996 Jan;77(1):19-24.

Peroneal stimulator; evaluation for the correction of spastic drop foot in hemiplegia.

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  • 1Bioengineering Unit, Wolfson Centre, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland.



The objective of the study was to assess the orthotic and therapeutic value of the peroneal stimulator (PS) for adult hemiplegic patients.


This was a two-period crossover study lasting 11 weeks. After recruitment each patient had a 4-week control period followed by a 4-week treatment period. The patients were assessed before the control period, after the control period, and after the treatment period.


Nineteen patients were recruited from physiotherapy departments in the Glasgow area; 2 subsequently dropped out before the treatment period.


All patients had hemiplegia as a result of cerebrovascular accident (CVA) and were greater than 3 months but less than 36 months post-CVA. Average time since stroke was 7 months.


The patients' gait was assessed over smooth linoleum, carpet, and uneven ground. Gait was evaluated using a switch-based portable system. Outcome measures were the temporal gait parameters of speed, symmetry, heel strike, and foot inversion during stance. The gait evaluation was repeated on 5 separate days at each assessment. The Barthel Index was applied to each session.


There was a significant orthotic improvement in inversion on all surfaces and for symmetry on linoleum (AN-OVA, p = .05). There was no significant improvement in patients' gait when not using the PS. There was a significant improvement in the Barthel Index over the treatment period (Wilcoxon, p = .05).


Use of the PS an an orthotic device late in the rehabilitation program would be appropriate for a selected subpopulation of patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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