Biomechanical control of paretic lower limb during imposed weight transfer in individuals post-stroke
JournalJournal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation
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AbstractBackground: Stroke is a leading cause of disability with associated hemiparesis resulting in difficulty bearing and transferring weight on to the paretic limb. Difficulties in weight bearing and weight transfer may result in impaired mobility and balance, increased fall risk, and decreased community engagement. Despite considerable efforts aimed at improving weight transfer after stroke, impairments in its neuromotor and biomechanical control remain poorly understood. In the present study, a novel experimental paradigm was used to characterize differences in weight transfer biomechanics in individuals with chronic stroke versus able-bodied controls Methods: Fifteen participants with stroke and fifteen age-matched able-bodied controls participated in the study. Participants stood with one foot on each of two custom built platforms. One of the platforms dropped 4.3 cm vertically to induce lateral weight transfer and weight bearing. Trials involving a drop of the platform beneath the paretic lower extremity (non-dominant limb for control) were included in the analyses. Paretic lower extremity joint kinematics, vertical ground reaction forces, and center of pressure velocity were measured. All participants completed the clinical Step Test and Four-Square Step Test. Results: Reduced paretic ankle, knee, and hip joint angular displacement and velocity, delayed ankle and knee inter-joint timing, increased downward displacement of center of mass, and increased center of pressure (COP) velocity stabilization time were exhibited in the stroke group compared to the control group. In addition, paretic COP velocity stabilization time during induced weight transfer predicted Four-Square Step Test scores in individuals post-stroke. Conclusions: The induced weight transfer approach identified stroke-related abnormalities in the control of weight transfer towards the paretic limb side compared to controls. Decreased joint flexion of the paretic ankle and knee, altered inter-joint timing, and increased COP stabilization times may reflect difficulties in neuromuscular control during weight transfer following stroke. Future work will investigate the potential of improving functional weight transfer through induced weight transfer training exercise. © 2020, The Author(s).
SponsorsThis study was funded by: VA Maryland Exercise and Robotics Center of Excellence (MERCE) pilot grant, NIH 1R21AG060034, and University of Maryland Advanced Neuromotor Rehabilitation Research Training Grant (UMANRRT, 90AR5028).
Identifier to cite or link to this itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/10713/14023