The effects of tuning the AFO footwear combination (AFOFC) for an adult with post-stroke hemiplegia were investigated. Gait analysis and tuning were carried out using a Vicon 3D motion analysis system and two force plates. Tuning of the AFOFC was accomplished by gradually modifying its design over a number of gait trials, to achieve optimal (i.e., as close as possible to normal, within the capability of the patient) knee kinematics and alignment of the Ground Reaction Force vector (GRF) relative to the knee joint. Heel wedges and a stiff rocker were used to tune mid-stance and terminal stance, respectively. Temporal-spatial parameters and selected kinetic and kinematic variables were compared between the non-tuned AFOFC, the tuned AFOFC immediately after tuning, and the tuned AFOFC after three months. There were several changes after three months compared to the non-tuned AFOFC, including improvement in stride length and a reduction in knee hyperextension. A subjective reduction in knee pain and improvement in function were also reported. The feasibility and the lack of objective evidence of tuning AFOFCs as a part of a clinical service need to be addressed in future research. © 2010 ISPO
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