Ankle foot orthoses (AFOs) are orthotic devices that can be used to normalize the walking pattern of children with cerebral palsy (CP). One of the aims of orthotic management is to produce a more normal gait pattern by positioning joints in the proper position to reduce pathological reflex or spasticity.
To conduct a systematic review of the literature and establish the effect of treatment with various types of AFOs on gait patterns of children with CP.
PubMed, Scopus, ISI Web of knowledge, Cochrane Library, EMBASE and Google Scholar were searched for articles published between 2007 and 2015 of studies of children with CP wearing the following AFOs: hinged (HAFO), solid (SAFO), floor reaction (FRO), posterior leaf spring (PLS) and dynamic (DAFO). Studies that combined treatment options were excluded. Outcomes investigated were a change in gait pattern and subsequent walking ability. The PEDro scale used to assess the methodological quality of relevant studies.
We included 17 studies investigating a total of 1139 children with CP. The PEDro score was poor for most studies (3/10). Only 4 studies, of 209 children in total, were randomized controlled trials, for a good PEDro score (5, 7, 9/10) and an appropriate level of evidence. One study used a case-based series and the remainder a cross-sectional design. In general, the use of AFOs improved speed and stride length. The HAFO was effective for improving gait parameters and decreasing energy expenditure with hemiplegic CP as compared with the barefoot condition. It also improved stride length, speed of walking, single limb support and gait symmetry with hemiplegic CP. The plastic SAFO and FRO were effective in reducing energy expenditure with diplegic CP. With diplegic CP, the HAFO and SAFO improved gross motor function.
For children with CP, use of specific types of AFOs improved gait parameters, including ankle and knee range of motion, walking speed and stride length. AFOs reduced energy expenditure in children with spastic CP. However, further studies with good PEDro scores are required for more conclusive evidence regarding the effectiveness of AFOs in children with CP.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Ankle foot orthoses, Orthosis, AFO, Gait, Children with cerebral palsy, CP