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Kobayashi T.,Orthocare Innovations | Leung A.,Hong Kong Polytechnic University | Akazawa Y.,Hyogo Institute of Assistive Technology | Hutchins S.,University of Salford
Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation | Year: 2012

Background: Ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs) have been reported to have positive effects on the temporal-spatial parameters and kinematics and kinetics of gait in patients with stroke. The center of mass (COM) may be used to represent whole body movement and energy cost in gait, and therefore COM movement would also be positively influenced with use of an appropriate AFO. Objective: To investigate the effect of AFOs on the sagittal plane displacement of the COM in patients with stroke hemiplegia. Methods: Five male subjects with stroke hemiplegia participated in this pilot study. The trajectory of the COM in the sagittal plane, gait speed, bilateral step length, step width, and bilateral stance time were analyzed while participants ambulated under 2 test conditions: with an AFO or with footwear only. The height of the 2 peaks of the vertical displacement of the COM in a gait cycle was subsequently measured and normalized to body height. Statistical analyses were conducted using a nonparametric Friedman test. Results: Gait speed, bilateral step length, and the normalized peak height of the vertical COM trajectory during stance phase on the affected leg all revealed statistically significant increases (P <.05), and step width showed significant decreases (P <.05) under the AFO condition when compared to the footwear-only condition. Conclusions: An AFO may influence the vertical displacement of the COM in patients with stroke hemiplegia. The results of this pilot study therefore suggested that vertical movement of COM could potentially serve as a useful parameter to evaluate the effect of an AFO. © 2012 Thomas Land Publishers, Inc. Source


Kobayashi T.,Hong Kong Polytechnic University | Leung A.K.L.,Hong Kong Polytechnic University | Akazawa Y.,Hyogo Institute of Assistive Technology | Hutchins S.W.,University of Salford
Brain Injury | Year: 2011

Primary objective: To investigate the methodology using a manual ankle joint resistive torque measurement device to evaluate the contribution of the neural component of ankle joint resistive torque in patients with stroke. Research design: Within-subject comparison to compare the ankle joint resistive torque between fast and slow stretching conditions. Methods and procedures: Ten patients with stroke participated in this study. The incremental ratio of ankle joint resistive torque at the ankle angular position of 5° dorsiflexion under the fast stretching condition in comparison to the slow one was calculated in each patient. Main outcomes and results: A significant increase (p<0.01) in the ankle joint resistive torque was demonstrated under the fast stretching condition in comparison to the slow one in all patients and the mean ankle joint resistive torque was 4.6 (SD=1.7) Nm under the slow stretching condition, while it was 8.4 (SD=4.1) Nm under the fast stretching condition at the ankle angular position of 5° dorsiflexion. The incremental ratio ranged from 9.4-139.3% among the patients. Conclusions: The results of this study demonstrated the potential advantage of the device to evaluate the contribution of the neural component of ankle joint resistive torque. © 2011 Informa UK Ltd. All rights reserved. Source


Kobayashi T.,Hong Kong Polytechnic University | Leung A.K.L.,Hong Kong Polytechnic University | Akazawa Y.,Hyogo Institute of Assistive Technology | Naito H.,Osaka University | And 2 more authors.
Prosthetics and Orthotics International | Year: 2010

The purpose of this study was to design a new automated stiffness measurement device which could perform a simultaneous measurement of both dorsi-and plantarflexion angles and the corresponding resistive torque around the rotational centre of an articulated ankle-foot orthosis (AAFO). This was achieved by controlling angular velocities and range of motion in the sagittal plane. The device consisted of a hydraulic servo fatigue testing machine, a torque meter, a potentiometer, a rotary plate and an upright supporter to enable an AAFO to be attached to the device via a surrogate shank. The accuracy of the device in reproducing the range of motion and angular velocity was within 4 and 1 respectively in the range of motion of 30° (15° plantarflexion to 15° dorsiflexion) at the angular velocity of 10°/s, while that in the measurement of AAFO torque was within 8 at the 0° position. The device should prove useful to assist an orthotist or a manufacturer to quantify the stiffness of an AAFO and inform its clinical use. © 2010 ISPO. Source


Booka M.,Hiroshima International University | Yoneda I.,Nishikyushu University | Hashizume T.,Toyo University | Lee H.,Hyogo Institute of Assistive Technology | And 2 more authors.
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics | Year: 2015

It is often experienced that low tire pressure of the wheelchair not only increases running resistance, but also reduces parking brake performance. In this study, the required driving forces for different tire pressures were experimentally measured and evaluated. It was indicated from the result that the wheelchair with proper tire pressure could be run with less workload of wheelchair-user. Then it was also indicated that the wheelchair with a lower tire pressure needed more workload of wheelchair-user even on hard level surface. © 2015 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved. Source


Kobayashi T.,Orthocare Innovations | Leung A.K.L.,Hong Kong Polytechnic University | Akazawa Y.,Hyogo Institute of Assistive Technology | Hutchins S.W.,University of Salford
Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology | Year: 2016

Purpose: The Berg balance scale (BBS) is commonly used to assess balancing ability in patients with stroke. The BBS may be a good candidate for clinical assessment prior to orthotic intervention, if it correlates well with outcome measures such as gait speed. The purpose of this study was to investigate the correlation between the BBS measured prior to walking with an ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) and specific temporal-spatial parameters of gait when walking with an AFO donned. Methods: Eight individuals with chronic stroke participated in this study. Balancing ability was assessed using the BBS, while temporal-spatial parameters of gait (gait speed, bilateral step length, stride length and step width) were measured using a three-dimensional motion analysis system. The correlations between the BBS and gait parameters were investigated using a non-parametric Kendalls Tau (τ) correlation analysis. Results: The BBS showed correlations with gait speed (τ = 0.64, p < 0.05), the step length of the affected side (τ = 0.74, p < 0.05), and the stride length (τ = 0.64, p < 0.05). Conclusions: Assessment of the BBS prior to AFO prescription may potentially help clinicians to estimate the gait speed achievable following orthotic intervention in patients with stroke.Implications for RehabilitationAssessment of the BBS prior to AFO prescription may help orthotists to estimate the gait speed following an orthotic intervention in patients with stroke.Assessment of the BBS prior to AFO prescription may help orthotists to understand overall balance and postural control abilities in patients with stroke.A larger scale multifactorial analysis is warranted to confirm the results of this pilot study. © 2014 Informa UK Ltd. Source

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