Functional electrical stimulation for foot drop syndrome: The effect on velocity and gait endurance - Preliminary data

Pawe Kiper, Alfonc Baba, Simonetta Rossi, Francesco Piccione

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Foot-drop is a frequent symptom of the Central Nervous System diseases (CNS) that may cause walking disorder. The primary therapeutic choice for foot-drop disease are the various classical Ankle-Foot Orthoses (AFO). The Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) of the ankle dorsiflexors muscles was described as quite effective at enhancing balance control and ankle dynamic stability during gait. Aim: The purpose of the study was to assess and consider the effects of FES-application regarding either the gait velocity or the resistance, in patients with foot-drop due to a chronic upper motor neuron lesion. Research project: Before-after study. Material and methods: There were enrolled 20 subjects, with an upper motor neuron lesion which presented foot-drop. Patients were divided randomly into 2 training groups (the FES group, N=10 or the Control Group, N=10). The treatment in the FES group consisted of neuroprosthesis application, for 2h/day, 5 days/weekly, for 3 weeks whereas, in the Control Group patients executed the gait treatment with the help of AFO. In both groups the FES or AFO application was considered as an additional gait training to the individual rehabilitation programme. The participants were assessed by using the 5 - 10 - 20 meters (m) Walking Test and 2 - 6 - 12 minutes (min) Timed Walking Test. Results: A higher degree of gait improvement was noted in subjects from the group which underwent FES treatment, than in those treated with AFO. Regarding the FES group, a statistically significant improvement was demonstrated by patients in tests as follows: 20m p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-28
Number of pages6
JournalRehabilitacja Medyczna
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Ankle-foot orthosis (AFO)
  • Foot-drop
  • Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES)
  • Neuroprosthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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