Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Changes in passive ankle stiffness and its effects on gait function in people with chronic stroke

Anindo Roy, PhD, et al.

People who have had a stroke often have abnormally stiff joints in their affected limb. In this article, we report the effects of a 6 wk training program with a new ankle robot (anklebot) on the stiffness of the affected ankle in people with stroke greater than 6 mo from onset. Eight individuals with lasting weakness from a stroke played a video game while seated for 1 h (three times/wk) by moving their affected ankle “up” or “down” with the robot assisting “as needed.” The stiffness of the weak ankle was measured, both before and after participation in the study, by slowly stretching the ankle in different directions using the anklebot, while subjects were seated in a relaxed state. We found that at 6 wk, the stiffness of the affected ankle decreased in the up and down directions and became similar to those of nondisabled people of similar age in the up direction. Importantly, decreased stiffness of the affected ankle led to improved quality of walking over ground. These findings suggest that measuring and monitoring ankle stiffness over the course of a therapy program can provide important insight into the process of neurorecovery and assist in tracking recovery.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2011.10.0206

Volume 50 Number 4, 2013
   Pages 555 — 572


View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 50, No. 4
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Roy A, Forrester LW, Macko RF, Krebs HI. Changes in passive ankle stiffness and its effects on gait function in people with chronic stroke. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2013; 50(4):555–72.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2011.10.0206
ResearcherID/ORCID: Anindo Roy, PhD: E-4312-2012
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Last Reviewed or Updated  Monday, July 29, 2013 10:14 AM

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