The effect of custom-made braces for the ankle and hindfoot on ankle and foot kinematics and ground reaction forces

Harold B. Kitaoka, Xavier M. Crevoisier, Kimberly Harbst, Diana Hansen, Brian Kotajarvi, Kenton Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess the effects on gait of custom-made polypropylene orthoses: ankle-foot orthosis (AFO), rigid hindfoot orthosis (HFO-R), and articulated hindfoot orthosis (HFO-A).Design: Experimental assessment. Setting: Institutional practice, motion analysis laboratory. Participants: Twenty asymptomatic normative subjects. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Three-dimensional kinematics, ground reaction force, and time-related factors in 4 conditions: shoe only, and shod with the AFO, HFO-R, and HFO-A. Results: The AFO and HFO-R limited sagittal and coronal plane ankle-hindfoot motion. The HFO-A limited hindfoot coronal motion while allowing normal sagittal motion. At the midfoot, the AFO and HFO-A limited transverse motion, but the HFO-A also limited sagittal and coronal motion. Use of the HFO-R resulted in exaggerated midfoot sagittal and coronal motion. Braces that limited motion to a greater degree were associated with more atypical kinetic variables, indicative of less dynamic gait. The HFO-A resulted in ground reaction forces most similar to unbraced conditions. Conclusions: Alteration in gait was affected by orthosis design. Orthoses with a rigid component crossing a joint restricted motion at that joint, but potentially compromised typical gait kinetic factors. For immobilizing the hindfoot, the HFO-A may be more comfortable and still provide more stability than the HFO-R or AFO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-135
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006


  • Ankle
  • Biomechanics
  • Foot
  • Gait
  • Orthotic devices
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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