Effects of a Foot Drop Neuroprosthesis on Functional Abilities, Social Participation, and Gait Velocity

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Abstract

Objective:

To determine the long-term effects of a neuroprosthesis used to correct a foot drop on functional ability in activities of daily living, social participation, and gait velocity.

Design:

Prospective, single group, repeated measures 1-yr follow-up of 16 patients (aged 55 ± 14.6 yrs) with chronic hemiparesis who used a neuroprosthesis for 1 yr and were available for follow-up. Outcome measures included the Short Version of the Stroke Impact Scale, the Participation domain of the Stroke Impact Scale, and the gait velocity.

Results:

Significant increases of 18.0% in physical functioning and of 25.2% in participation in community life were attained 2 mos after the application of the neuroprosthesis. The gains were maintained at the 1-yr follow-up. Gait velocity increased significantly by 29.2% by 2 mos, with significant further increases of 22.6% observed at the 1-yr follow-up.

Conclusions:

Use of the studied neuroprosthesis to correct foot drop significantly enhanced functional abilities, social reintegration, and gait velocity. These results support the prolonged use of the neuroprosthesis in patients with chronic hemiparesis.

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