Objective: To assess the effects on gait of custom-made polypropylene orthoses: ankle-foot orthosis (AFO), rigid hindfoot orthosis (HFO-R), and articulated hindfoot orthosis (HFO-A).Design: Experimental assessment. Setting: Institutional practice, motion analysis laboratory. Participants: Twenty asymptomatic normative subjects. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Three-dimensional kinematics, ground reaction force, and time-related factors in 4 conditions: shoe only, and shod with the AFO, HFO-R, and HFO-A. Results: The AFO and HFO-R limited sagittal and coronal plane ankle-hindfoot motion. The HFO-A limited hindfoot coronal motion while allowing normal sagittal motion. At the midfoot, the AFO and HFO-A limited transverse motion, but the HFO-A also limited sagittal and coronal motion. Use of the HFO-R resulted in exaggerated midfoot sagittal and coronal motion. Braces that limited motion to a greater degree were associated with more atypical kinetic variables, indicative of less dynamic gait. The HFO-A resulted in ground reaction forces most similar to unbraced conditions. Conclusions: Alteration in gait was affected by orthosis design. Orthoses with a rigid component crossing a joint restricted motion at that joint, but potentially compromised typical gait kinetic factors. For immobilizing the hindfoot, the HFO-A may be more comfortable and still provide more stability than the HFO-R or AFO.
- Orthotic devices
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation