Please read an article by Stefania Fatone, PhD, and colleagues published in the May, 2009 issue of the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The title of the article is “Effect of Ankle-Foot Orthosis Alignment and Foot-Plate Length on the Gait of Adults with Poststroke Hemiplegia.” The research compares the gait patterns of stroke patients with hemiplegia and controls. The gait of each patient with hemiplegia was tested with and without the use of an articulated ankle-foot orthosis (AFO). The researchers determined that the AFO helped the patients with hemiplegia achieve a more normal gait pattern. The AFO did not increase walking speed. In their study, the researchers used Tamarack™ Flexure Joints (free motion). The United States has approximately 4.5 million stroke survivors. About 15% to 30% of the survivors are permanently disabled. Persons with hemiplegia have more falls than able-bodied people. For this and other reasons, achieving a more normal gait pattern for people with hemiplegia is very important.
Posted by Mark Payette, R&D Manager of Tamarack Habilitation Technologies