Do Ankle Orthoses Improve Ankle Proprioceptive Thresholds or Unipedal Balance in Older Persons With Peripheral Neuropathy?By Son, Jaebum; Ashton-Miller, James A.; Richardson, James K.; American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vol. 89, No. 5, pp. 369-375
Publication Date: May 2010
Study explored the effect of ankle orthoses on frontal plane ankle proprioceptive thresholds and unipedal stance time (UST) in older persons with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, a condition associated with a markedly increased risk of falling and fall-related injury. Study participants were 8 men and 3 women with a mean age of 72 years and a known history of diabetes mellitus. Ankle orthoses used were Active Ankle T2, semicircular shells, connected inferiorly by a sling and lined with foam, that lie on either side of the malleoli and extend proximally over the lower leg, where they are held tightly by hook and loop straps. UST for each participant was determined with a stopwatch, and frontal plane ankle inversion and eversion proprioceptive thresholds were quantified during bipedal stance using a foot cradle system and a series of 100 rotational stimuli in two conditions: with and without ankle orthoses. Participants demonstrated no change in combined frontal plane proprioceptive thresholds or UST with versus without the orthoses. Based on study results, the authors propose that previously identified improvements in gait variability using orthoses in this population are likely related to an orthotically induced stiffening of the ankle rather than a change in ankle proprioceptive function.
Assistive Products Discussed: ACTIVE ANKLE
Published by: Lippincott, Williams, & Wilkins (Website:http://www.lww.com)
Association of Academic Physiatrists (Web Site: http://physiatry.org )