Impact of Ankle-Foot Orthosis on Gait Efficiency in Ambulatory Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Jean P. Betancourt, Prince Eleeh, Stacy Stark, Nitin B. Jain

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Children with cerebral palsy experience functional limitations because of excessive muscle weakness, spasticity, and impaired motor control. They are prescribed ankle-foot orthoses to assist with ambulation. Our was to analyze stride length and dorsiflexion data comparing the effectiveness of "ankle-foot orthoses" with "barefoot or shoes only" on ambulatory children with cerebral palsy. Design An electronic literature search was conducted. Studies were screened by two reviewers based on our inclusion criteria: prospective cohort study or randomized clinical trial, participants younger than 18 yrs with a primary diagnosis of cerebral palsy, ankle-foot orthoses with a control group, 20 combined participants in the experimental and control groups for cohort studies, and 10 participants for randomized clinical trials. Results Seventeen studies were selected. Pooled results of the meta-analyses showed that stride length was significantly better in the ankle-foot orthoses group as compared with the control group (mean difference between groups = 0.05 m (95% confidence interval = 0.04-0.06). The dorsiflexion angle (5 studies, 124 participants) was improved in patients with ankle-foot orthoses as compared with barefoot or shoes only (mean difference between groups = 8.62 degrees (95% confidence interval = 8.05-9.2). Conclusions Children with cerebral palsy using ankle-foot orthoses had improved stride length and dorsiflexion angle during gait in a pooled meta-analyses of cohort studies and clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)759-770
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Data Set
  • Meta-analysis
  • Systematic Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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