Purpose: To examine the effect of ankle-foot orthoses (AFO) on walking activity in children with cerebral palsy (CP). Methods: We used a randomized cross-over design with 11 children with bilateral CP, mean age 4.3 years. Subjects were randomized to current AFO-ON or AFO-OFF for 2 weeks and then crossed over. Walking activity (average total steps/day), intensity, and stride rate curves were collected via an ankle accelerometer. Group effects were examined with the Wilcoxon signed-rank test and within-subject effects examined for more than 1 standard deviation change. Results: No significant group difference was found in average total daily step count between treatment conditions (P =.48). For the AFO-ON condition, 2 subjects (18%) increased total steps/day; 4 (36%) increased walking time; 2 (18%) had more strides at a rate of more than 30 strides/min; and 2 (18%) reached higher peak intensity. Conclusions: Clinically prescribed AFO/footwear did not consistently enhance walking activity levels or intensity. Larger studies are warranted.
- ankle-foot orthoses
- cerebral palsy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation