Farzad Farmani has completed his Ph.D in Orthotics and Prosthetics at the age of 33 from University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences. He has been working as an assistant professor at Hamadan University of Medical Sciences since June 2015. During the last few years, he has mostly worked on the biomechanical effect of different orthoses and assistive devices in patients with neurologic and orthopedic disabilities.
The influence of different orthoses on postural stability and gait in people with post-osteoporosis thoracic kyphosis
Introduction: Osteoporosis is a common orthopedic condition mostly in elderly women which potentially could lead to many clinical problems such as increased risk of vertebral fracture, hyperkyphosis, poor balance, and decreased functional mobility and quality of life. Most often, different spinal orthoses are prescribed for rehabilitation after vertebral fracture and spinal kyphosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of three widely used orthoses on postural stability and gait in people with post-osteoporosis thoracic kyphosis.
Methods: 29 women (aged between 55 to 75) were voluntarily participated in this study. Two force platforms (KISLER) were used to collect data. Outcome measures included center of pressure (COP) medio-lateral and posterior-anterior displacement, step length, step width and cadence. Tests were performed in four conditions in random sequences including using 1- no orthosis, 2- Spinomed orthosis, 3-Posture training support (PTS), 4-Posterior shell thoracolumbosacral orthosis (TLSO).
Results: All orthoses resulted in decreased COP displacement in medio-lateral and anterior-posterior directions and increased step length, step width and cadence in participants (P<0.05). Also, no significant difference was seen in gait characteristics while patients used three types of orthoses (P>0.05). However, COP displacement in both directions was significantly less using posterior shell TLSO compared to Spinomed orthosis and PTS.
Conclusion: Finding of the present study showed that all three types of orthoses could improve posture al stability and gait ability in elderlies with post-osteoporosis thoracic kyphosis, although posterior shell TLSO may more affect the postural control compared with the two others.
Policy implications: Using spinal orthoses in elderlies with thoracic kyphosis secondary to osteoporosis may lead to more balance and better walking ability. Therefore it may be said that prescribing spinal orthoses may result in improved function and quality of life.