The aim of this study was to investigate the ground reaction forces (GRF) production in stroke survivors with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) compared to stroke survivors without DPN and healthy controls.
Stroke participants were recruited from a government funded hospital by using purposive sampling while healthy controls were recruited from the local community.
Of the 10 participants in the stroke survivors with DPN group, 3 had hemorrhagic stroke and 7 had ischemic stroke, while 5 participants had hemorrhagic stroke and 5 had ischemic stroke in the stroke survivors without DPN group.
A total of 16 retroreflective spherical markers were placed bilaterally on the following anatomical landmarks: anterior superior iliac spines, posterior superior iliac spines, mid-thigh, lateral fibular head, mid-calves, lateral malleolus, the base of the first metatarsal, and calcaneus.
Participants were asked to walk at a comfortable speed within 5 metres of a fixed platform.
Three out of five recorded trials were chosen to determine the GRFs data, ensuring adequate foot contacts on the force plate.
Paretic and non-paretic sides of stroke survivors were compared with a similar side of healthy control’s limbs and the sides were categorised as paretic and non-paretic sides in the healthy controls’ group.
The authors found significant alterations of medial-lateral forces of the non-paretic and vertical forces of the paretic side in stroke survivors with DPN compared to stroke survivors without DPN and healthy controls.
In addition, there were smaller braking and lower propulsion peak in anterior-posterior forces, smaller magnitude of medial-lateral forces, and lower first and second peak of vertical forces in stroke survivors with DPN compared to stroke survivors without DPN and healthy controls.
This study proved that GRFs were affected in stroke survivors with DPN on both the paretic and the non-paretic sides.
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