By Emily Delzell
Orthotists report time and a lack of access to 3D motion analysis as barriers to tuning ankle foot orthosis–footwear combinations (AFO-FC), findings that demonstrate a need for better instruction and simplification of the practice, according to investigators who conducted a survey of UK clinicians.
Tuning AFO-FCs can produce optimum gait kinematics and kinetics, while failure to optimize can result in immediate and long-term detrimental effects on function, according to investigators at Staffordshire University in Stoke on Trent, UK, who sent a questionnaire to registered orthotists in the UK to determine current practice patterns.
Of the 41 respondents, all reported being aware of AFO-FC tuning. Only 50%, however, reported using it as standard clinical practice.
Not having access to 3D gait analysis was the most common barrier reported (34%). Staffordshire investigators noted this demonstrates a lack of understanding of AFO-FC tuning, which can be accomplished with simpler methods, such as superimposing a force vector on a video sequence.
The study was epublished in February by Prosthetics and Orthotics International.
Eddison N, Chockalingam N, Osborne S. Ankle foot orthosis–footwear combination tuning: An investigation into common clinical practice in the United Kingdom. Prosthet Orthot Int 2014 February 24. [Epub ahead of print]