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Stroke Research and Treatment
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 523564, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/523564
Clinical Study

Walking Training with Foot Drop Stimulator Controlled by a Tilt Sensor to Improve Walking Outcomes: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study in Patients with Stroke in Subacute Phase

1Clinical Laboratory of Experimental Neurorehabilitation, I.R.C.C.S., Santa Lucia Foundation, Via Ardeatina 306, 00179 Rome, Italy
2Operative Unit F, I.R.C.C.S., Santa Lucia Foundation, Via Ardeatina 306, 00179 Rome, Italy

Received 20 July 2012; Accepted 10 December 2012

Academic Editor: Stefan Hesse

Copyright © 2012 G. Morone et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Foot drop is a quite common problem in nervous system disorders. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) has showed to be an alternative approach to correct foot drop improving walking ability in patients with stroke. In this study, twenty patients with stroke in subacute phase were enrolled and randomly divided in two groups: one group performing the NMES (i.e. Walkaide Group, WG) and the Control Group (CG) performing conventional neuromotor rehabilitation. Both groups underwent the same amount of treatment time. Significant improvements of walking speed were recorded for WG ( %) than for CG ( %, ) as well as in terms of locomotion (Functional Ambulation Classification score: ). In terms of mobility and force, ameliorations were recorded, even if not significant (Rivermead Mobility Index: ; Manual Muscle Test: ). Similar changes between groups were observed for independence in activities of daily living, neurological assessments, and spasticity reduction. These results highlight the potential efficacy for patients affected by a droop foot of a walking training performed with a neurostimulator in subacute phase.