The impact of an ankle foot orthosis (AFO) on gait recovery in select individuals with multiple sclerosis
This is a non-randomized, single group (N=15), repeated measures study. The study will take place at the David M. Crowley Research and Rehabilitation Lab in the School of Health Professions at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. The outcome measure for the study include: 1. GAITRite System for temporal and spatial parameters, 2. EMG of the anterior tibialis, gastrocnemius, and vastus lateralis muscles, 3. 6 Minute Walk Test (gait endurance) 4. Lower extremity strength (hand-held dynamometry and single leg heel raise), 5. Fatigue scale, 6. Video tape of overground gait analysis. This study will be 13 weeks long. Over the 13 week period, the subject will participate in 5 gait training sessions which will be at weeks 1, 2, 3, 7, and 10. They will be 45-60 minutes in duration. Outcome measures will be assessed at the following times: initial (T1), week 5 (T2), and week 13 (T3). Subjects will be closely monitored throughout the 13 week study and will be unenrolled by self-request or the following medical reasons: 1. Acute exacerbation of MS symptoms, 2. New diagnosis with direct consequences affecting gait training, 3. Inability to tolerate the study AFO.
Criteria for subjects to be included in this study are as follows: 1. Individuals with a primary diagnosis of multiple sclerosis 2. Individuals >18 and <60 years old, 3. Individuals who are able to maintain a walking velocity of 60 cm/sec for at least 2 minutes independently or with the use of a single tip assistive device, 4. Evidence of weakness in plantarflexors.