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Prosthet Orthot Int. 2013 Apr;37(2):95-107. doi: 10.1177/0309364612450706. Epub 2012 Jul 24.

The effect of tuning ankle foot orthoses-footwear combination on the gait parameters of children with cerebral palsy.

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Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, Wolverhampton, UK.



There are a wide variety of ankle foot orthoses used in clinical practice which are characterised by their design, the material used and the stiffness of that material. Changing any of these three components will alter the effect of the ankle foot orthosis on gait.


The purpose of this article is to provide an overview on the available research on ankle foot orthosis-footwear combination tuning on the gait characteristics of children with cerebral palsy through a structured review.


Literature review.


A thorough search of previous studies published in English was conducted within all major databases using relevant phrases without any limits for the dates. These searches were then supplemented by tracking all key references from the appropriate articles identified including hand searching of published books where relevant.


To date, there are 947 papers in the literature pertaining to the study of ankle foot orthosis. Of these, 153 investigated the use of ankle foot orthosis for children with cerebral palsy. All the studies included in this review were of a within-subjects design and the evidence levels were generally low.


The overall results suggested that ankle foot orthosis-footwear combination tuning has the potential to improve the kinematics and kinetics of gait in children with cerebral palsy. However, the review highlights a lack of well-designed and adequately powered studies. Clinical relevance While the research described in this article indicates an improvement in the gait of children with cerebral palsy following tuning of their ankle foot orthosis-footwear combination, there is still a paucity of research with quantitative data on the effects of kinematics and kinetics of ankle foot orthosis-footwear combination tuning, comparing untuned ankle foot orthosis-footwear combinations with tuned ankle foot orthosis-footwear combination. Furthermore, current research does not identify the effect of tuning on energy efficiency.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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