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Logo for the Journal of Rehab R&D
Volume 41 Number 5, September/October 2004
Pages 707 — 712


A new hip-knee-ankle-foot sling: Kinematic comparison with a traditional ankle-foot orthosis

Arturo Zancan, MD; Maria V. Beretta; Micaela Schmid, PhD; Marco Schieppati, MD

Division of Rehabilitation, Salvatore Maugeri Foundation, Work and Rehabilitation, Institute of Care and Scientific Research, Pavia, Italy; Human Movement Laboratory (CSAM), Salvatore Maugeri Foundation, Work and Rehabilitation, Institute of Care and Scientific Research, Pavia, Italy; Human Physiology Section, Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
Abstract — In this study, we performed a kinematic analysis of a new, low-cost sling for the lower limb, compared to a common ankle-foot orthosis (AFO). Gait with no orthosis, with the AFO, and with the new sling was analyzed in one hemiplegic subject. Both the AFO and the sling reduced the mean angle and ROM (range of movement) of the ankle and the vertical displacement of the center of mass. The sling, but not the AFO, restored the normal sequence heel-strike, forefoot contact of the affected side. The sling, but not the AFO, reduced the affected limb stance and stride duration, increased stride length, and improved walking speed. In conclusion, the proposed sling for the lower limb equally improved the affected ankle kinematics in contrast to the traditional AFO, and it also improved some gait variables in this hemiplegic subject.
Key words: AFO, gait, hemiplegia, kinematic, lower limb, orthosis, sling.

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