SAGITTAL PLANE STIFFNESS OF PEDIATRIC ANKLE-FOOT ORTHOSES
Open Access (recommended)
Excel spreadsheet has two tabs. The first tab, All AFO data, contains the output of mechanical testing of 9 ankle-foot orthoses (deflection and torque) for each of 3 trials. The second tab, Means, contains the mean stiffness, deflection into dorsiflexion (DF), deflection into plantarflexion (PF), and total deflection for each trial for each ankle-foot orthosis.
- bending moment
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Background: When studying the effect of ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs) on gait, it is important to know their sagittal plane stiffness. However, there are no established thresholds for stiffness of AFOs designed to be rigid. If wanting to implement published algorithms for ankle-foot orthosis-footwear combinations (AFO-FCs), the AFOs must be at least as stiff as those of the developer of the published AFO-FC algorithms.Objective(s): To compare the sagittal plane stiffness of AFOs designed to be rigid, made in the USA and following algorithms for AFO-FC designs, to those made and used in the UK by the developer of the AFO-FC algorithms.Study Design: Mechanical testing.Technique: Stiffness of 9 pediatric polypropylene AFOs was tested (UK: 6; USA: 3). A computer-controlled motorized device was used in which all AFOs were aligned with tibia vertical and the foot section clamped to a rotating plate. Each AFO was tested for 3 trials, loading the foot plate 30 Nm towards dorsiflexion and 20 Nm towards plantarflexion. Torque-angle graphs were plotted and deflection and stiffness compared descriptively across AFOs.Results: Average deflection of AFOs was UK: 3.420.83 and USA: 4.811.05. Average stiffness of AFOs was UK: 14.343.34 Nm/ and USA: 10.301.92 Nm/.Conclusions: All tested AFOs, which were designed to have a rigid ankle, deflected only a few degrees in either direction. Overall, the UK AFOs were stiffer and deflected less than the USA AFOs. AFO design features should be carefully considered as they likely influence sagittal plane stiffness and deflection under load.
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- Subject: MESH
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