2.19 Biomechanics and gait training of ankle-foot orthoses for individuals post-stroke

Location: Guadalajara 3, Ground floor



Various designs of ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs) are used for individuals post-stroke in clinical settings. It is important to know the biomechanical effects of AFOs on gait, and adjust the AFO stiffness/resistance and alignment appropriately for each individual to improve their gait.

AFO stiffness/resistance in plantar flexion affects rocker functions, toe clearance during swing phase, and upper body alignment. Appropriate stiffness/resistance can reconstruct the rocker functions for smooth movement of affected limbs. Excessive stiffness/resistance may induce negative effects, such as excessive flexion or hyperextension of the knee joint.

AFO stiffness/resistance in dorsiflexion is necessary for some individuals to assist insufficient activity of the plantar flexors, but this may impede smooth dorsiflexion in stance phase for others. Inappropriate dorsiflexion stiffness/resistance of AFOs could induce hyperextension or excessive flexion of the knee joint. AFO alignment also affects ankle and knee joint movement throughout the stance phase.

In order to advance gait improvement, gait training using AFOs is indispensable. Knowledge about AFO functions can facilitate optimal selection or design of AFOs and provide better gait training. Gait training with AFOs can optimize muscle activity of the lower limbs during gait in individuals post-stroke. It is crucial to evaluate each individual to properly design training tactics.

In this symposium, biomechanics of AFOs, AFO’s clinical effects, and gait training with AFOs in individuals post-stroke will be discussed from an interdisciplinary perspective of engineers, biomechanists, orthotists and physical therapists. Some case studies will also be included to show practical applications.

Statement of the objective / learning objectives

  • To discuss biomechanical effects of AFOs on gait in individuals post-stroke.
  • To discuss gait training with AFOs for stroke rehabilitation.


Hiroshi Hashimoto
Pacific Supply Co., Ltd., Daito, Japan


Toshiki Kobayashi
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
Sumiko Yamamoto
Department of Assistive Technological Science, Graduate School, International University of Health & Welfare, Tokyo, Japan
Soji Tanaka
Saiseikai Higashikanagawa Rehabilitation Hospital, Kanagawa, Japan

Event Location

Guadalajara 3, Ground floor