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Background and Aim: Ankle joint stiffness and its range of motion (ROM) are commonly assessed to determine the appropriate mechanical characteristics required in an effective ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) prescription. The aim of this technical note is to present the design of a manual device that enables their convenient measurement in the clinical setting and to demonstrate its reliability.
Technique: The manual device was designed with a torquemeter, a potentiometer, a steering wheel, a rotary plate, and a foot plate. The measurement of resistive torque at 0° (neutral), 5° (dorsiflexion) and 10° (dorsiflexion) ankle angular positions demonstrated the high reliability of the device with Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC) (1,k) values over 0.97.
Discussion: Quantitative measurement of ankle joint stiffness and ROM by this manual device would provide objective information that could potentially assist AFO prescriptions. A future study should investigate how to incorporate the measurement obtained from the device into the prescription of an AFO.