Background: Nonarticulated and low-temperature thermoplastic ankle–foot orthoses (AFOs) have a semirigid design and are effective in improving the postural control mechanism (PCM) in individuals with poststroke hemiparesis. AFOs with an anterior leaf (AAFOs) are more often prescribed than are AFOs with a posterior leaf (PAFOs); however, the effects of AAFOs on the PCM during sit-to-stand transfer (STST) have not been explored. Research questions: Do AAFOs and PAFOs change the PCM differently during STST? Methods: A cross-sectional quasi-experimental design was adopted in this study. Fourteen individuals with poststroke hemiparesis (10 men and 4 women, aged between 38 and 71 years, stroke onset between 1 and 17 months) performed STST with shoes only, an AAFO with shoes, or a PAFO with shoes. Vertical ground reaction force (VGRF) and center-of-pressure (CoP) coordinates were collected using a pressure mat to calculate PCM parameters. A single-factor repeated measures analysis of variance was performed to answer the research question. Results: (1) The weight-bearing percentage of the paretic leg was significantly lower when the participants wore a PAFO (p = 0.018) than when they wore an AAFO (p = 0.019) during the first 5 and 5–10 s after rising. (2) A small rate of change of the VGRF increment (dF/dT) was detected when participants wore AFOs, particularly AAFO. (3) The maximum mediolateral displacement of the CoP when standing up was significantly different among the three conditions (p = 0.012). Significance: For patients with poststroke hemiparesis, AAFO and PAFOs change the PCM during STST performance. Only AAFO improved the PCM possibly because of the rigidity and clearance of the heel region, which provide somatic sensory feedback. Therefore, rehabilitation professionals should educate hemiplegic patients who use AAFOs or PAFOs to perform dynamic daily tasks slowly for their safety.
- Center of pressure (CoP)
- Postural control mechanism (PCM)
- Semirigid ankle–foot orthosis (AFO)
- Sit-to-stand transfer (STST)
- Weight-bearing symmetry
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine