Stroke is the leading cause of physical disabilities worldwide, often resulting in foot drop. Ankle-Foot Orthoses (AFOs) can enhance posture in foot drop cases and augment lower limb stability to support body weight. The Posterior Leaf Spring AFO (PLS AFO), a specific type of AFO, features a narrow retromalleolar region that allows movement without necessitating external force while influencing the AFO's stiffness. This parameter is crucial for determining the mechanical behavior of PLS AFOs. In this study, the impact of the retromalleolar trimline on the stiffness of a 3D PLS AFO model is investigated using the finite element method. Trimline widths of 8 cm and 10 cm, and a thickness of 10 mm, are examined. A 637 N load is applied to the calf area of the 3D PLS AFO model. The results demonstrate that stiffness increases proportionally with retromalleolar trimline width. A PLS AFO configuration with an 8 cm retromalleolar trimline width, 10 mm thickness, and carbon fiber material is deemed suitable for poststroke foot drop rehabilitation, as it provides improved foot clearance during the swing phase.
- ankle foot orthosis
- finite element analysis
- gait disorder
- posterior leaf spring ankle foot orthosis