A 6-Month Home-Based Functional Electrical Stimulation Program for Foot Drop in a Post-Stroke Patient: Considerations on a Time Course Analysis of Walking Performance.
Summary: This case report describes a post-stroke 22-year-old woman with a foot drop treated with home-based functional electrical stimulation (FES).
Conclusion: A woman with a foot drop was successfully treated with home-based functional electrical stimulation.
Foot drop is a common disability in post-stroke patients and represents a challenge for the clinician. To date, ankle foot orthosis (AFO) combined with conventional rehabilitation is the gold standard of rehabilitation management. AFO has a palliative mechanical action without actively restoring the associated neural function. Functional electrical stimulation (FES), consisting of stimulation of the peroneal nerve pathway, represents an alternative approach. By providing an FES device (Bioness L-300, BIONESS, Valencia, CA, USA) for 6 months to a post-stroke 22-year-old woman with a foot drop, our goal was to quantify its potential benefit on walking capacity. The gait parameters and the temporal evolution of the speed were collected with a specific connected sole device (Feet Me®) during the 10-m walking, the time up and go, and the 6-minute walking tests with AFO, FES, or without any device (NO). As a result, the walking speed changes on 10-m were clinically significant with an increase from the baseline to 6 months in AFO (+0.14 m.s-1), FES (+0.36 m.s-1) and NO (+0.32 m.s-1) conditions. In addition, the speed decreased at about 4-min in the 6-minute walking test in NO and AFO conditions, while the speed increased in the FES conditions at baseline and after 1, 3, and 6 months. In addition to the walking performance improvement, monitoring the gait speed in an endurance test after an ecological rehabilitation training program helps to examine the walking performance in post-stroke patients and to propose a specific rehabilitation program.