Quantitative Evaluation of the Effects of Ankle Foot Orthosis on Gait in Children with Cerebral Palsy Using the Gait Profile Score and Gait Variable Scores

  • Manuela Galli
  • Veronica Cimolin
  • Chiara Rigoldi
  • Giorgio Albertini


Ankle foot orthoses (AFOs) are often used in children with Cerebral Palsy (CP) to facilitate and optimise their impaired gait pattern. The aim of this study was to assess quantitatively the effects of AFOs on gait in CP using a summary measure obtained by Gait Analysis (GA): the Gait Profile Score (GPS) with its Gait Variable Scores (GVSs).

A total of 21 children with CP (hemiplegic group: 11 children; diplegic group: 10 children) were evaluated barefoot and wearing AFOs using GA; GPS with its GVSs were calculated from GA data. The results evidenced that in diplegic children significant improvements when wearing AFOs were observed at pelvic tilt and ankle dorsi-plantarflexion GVS values; no changes were found as for GPS. The plegic side of hemiplegic children improved significantly globally with AFO, as displayed by the reduction of GPS value; in addition, some reductions were observed in terms of pelvic rotation and obliquity, knee flex-extension and ankle dorsi-plantarflexion GVSs. Significant changes appeared at some GVS values of the non-plegic side, too.

Our results showed that, compared with barefoot gait, AFOs enhanced gait strategy in diplegic and hemiplegic children with CP. While GPS, together with GVSs, seems to be a useful method for evaluating immediate effects of AFOs in hemiplegia, in diplegia the improvements are evident only in some GVSs (pelvic tilt and ankle dorsi-plantarflexion) but not in GPS.


Gait analysis Cerebral palsy Ankle foot orthosis, gait profile score Gait variable score 



The authors would like to acknowledge Eng. Laura Passoni, Eng. Laura Pescatori and Eng. Eugenio Di Stanislao for their valuable contribution.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Was obtained from all the parents of the participants included in the study.

Conflicts of Interest

All authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest and any financial interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuela Galli
    • 1
    • 2
  • Veronica Cimolin
    • 1
  • Chiara Rigoldi
    • 1
  • Giorgio Albertini
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Electronics, Information and BioengineeringPolitecnico di MilanoMilanoItaly
  2. 2.IRCCS “San Raffaele Pisana”, Tosinvest SanitàRomaItaly

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