Foot loading with an ankle-foot orthosis: the accuracy of an integrated physical strain trainer
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To investigate the value of a built-in physical strain trainer for the monitoring of partial weight bearing with an ankle-foot orthosis.
12 healthy volunteers were asked to perform three trials. Plantar peak pressure values from normal gait (trial one) were defined as 100% (baseline). The following trials were performed with the Vacoped® dynamic vacuum ankle orthosis worn in a neutral position with full weight bearing (trial two) and a restriction to 10% body weight (BW) (trial three), as monitored with an integrated physical strain trainer. Peak plantar pressure values were obtained using the pedar® X system.
Peak pressure values were statistically significantly reduced wearing the Vacoped® shoe with full weight bearing for the hindfoot to 68% of the baseline (normal gait) and for the midfoot and forefoot to 83% and 60%, respectively. Limited weight bearing with 10% BW as controlled by physical strain trainer further reduced plantar peak pressure values for the hindfoot to 19%, for the midfoot to 43% of the baseline and the forefoot to 22% of the baseline.
The Vacoped® vacuum ankle orthosis significantly reduces plantar peak pressure. The integrated physical strain trainer seems unsuitable to monitor a limitation to 10% BW adequately for the total foot. The concept of controlling partial weight bearing with the hindfoot-addressing device within the orthosis seems debatable but may be useful when the hindfoot in particular must be off-loaded.
KeywordsPeak Pressure Weight Bearing Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation Plantar Pressure Full Weight Bearing
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