Foot drop affects walking in people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS). This study compares the initial orthotic effects of two treatments for foot drop: ankle-foot orthoses (AFO) and functional electrical stimulation (FES), on the speed and oxygen cost of walking in MS. Method and materials: Seventy-eight pwMS were randomised to receive AFO or FES (ODFS PACE (OML, Salisbury, UK)). Participants completed the 25-ft walk test (25ftWT) and 5-min self-selected walk test (5minSSWT), from which oxygen cost was determined, with and without their device. Between-, within- and sub-group analyses (based on baseline walking speed of <0.8 m/s (slow) or ≥0.8 m/s (fast)) were undertaken. Results: No significant differences between baseline measures were observed. The AFO group walked significantly slower than the FES group (5minSSWT, p = 0.037, 0.11 m/s). The AFO group walked significantly slower with than without AFO (25ftWT, p = 0.037), particularly in the fast-walking group ( p = 0.011). The slow-walking FES group walked significantly faster with FES than without (25ftWT; p = 0.029, 5minSSWT; p = 0.037). There were no differences in the fast-walking FES group or in the oxygen cost for either device. Conclusion: AFO reduced walking speed, particularly in fast walkers. FES increased walking speed in slow, but not fast walkers.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies Engineering|
|Early online date||2 Feb 2018|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 2 Feb 2018|
- ankle-foot orthosis
- electrical stimulation
- walking velocity