The effect of a hinged ankle-foot orthosis on hemiplegic gait: four single case studies
This study used a single-case design to assess the effect of a hinged ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) on four hemiplegic subjects, and elicited their views of the AFO. The gait parameters measured were: velocity, stride length, step length and symmetry using a paper walkway. The subjects walked without (phase A) and then with (phase B) the AFO. The subjects' views were sought using a semi-structured questionnaire. The data were displayed graphically and analysed using autocorrelations and paired t-tests to compare phases A and B in each parameter for each subject. All subjects showed significant improvements in velocity, stride and step length in the sound and weak legs, and three of the subjects showed significant improvements in symmetry. The subjects all viewed the AFO positively and felt that it improved their walking. They placed more emphasis on the changes in disability than impairment.