A study of the effects of AFOs on postural control and energy cost of walking in children with cerebral palsy (CP) found that the use of AFOs affects trunk acceleration that may indicate a beneficial effect on postural control.
Nineteen children with unilateral spastic CP and 14 unaffected children participated. Trunk accelerometry (amplitude and structure) and energy cost of walking (J/kg/m) were recorded from five-minute walking trials with and without AFOs for children with CP and without orthoses for the reference group.
The researchers observed that the AFOs increased structure complexity of trunk acceleration in mediolateral and anterior-posterior directions, changed mediolateral-structure toward values found in typically developed children, and they concluded the change was not associated with a change in energy cost during walking.
The study, “Effects of Ankle-Foot Orthoses on acceleration and energy cost of walking in children and adolescents with cerebral palsy,” was published in Prosthetics and Orthotics International.