Researchers from the department of orthotics and prosthetics at the University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Science, Tehran, Iran, and the University of Salford, United Kingdom, compared the effects of solid and hinged AFOs on step length and cadence in patients with thoracic-level incomplete spinal cord injuries (ISCI).
After having the five study participants perform three separate treadmill gait tests-walking barefoot, wearing a solid AFO, and wearing a hinged AFO-researchers reported that the data showed that the solid AFO improved cadence and step length. The mean step length while walking barefoot was 26.3 ± 16.37cm; 31.3 ± 17.27cm with a solid AFO and 28.5 ± 15.86cm with a hinged AFO. The mean cadence for walking barefoot was 61.59 ± 25.65 steps per minute compared to 50.94 ± 22.36 steps per minute with a solid AFO and 56.25 ± 24.44 steps per minute with a hinged AFO.
Complete details of the study can be found in the journal Prosthetics and Orthotics International.