Dorsiflexion Splinting for Treatment of Peripheral Artery Disease
Patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) often have walking impairment and pain during walking due to insufficient oxygen supply to the leg muscles. Existing clinical treatment of PAD involves walking programs or revascularization. Surgery can carry significant costs and risks of acute complications from, for instance, recurrences due to restenosis or graft occlusion. Adherence to long-term walking programs can be difficult and painful for frail patients such as the elderly. Although, stretching of calf muscles improves vascular function in the lower leg and walking is the best therapy. Use of a splint developed by researchers at Florida State University can enhance a patient’s vascular function by improving blood flow to the leg and decrease in pain during walking. The splint positions the leg and stretches muscles in a way that improves blood flow and/or oxygenation while resting. This device will be automated to easily adjust to the correct position for optimum therapeutic value for each patient.
The splint allow the patient to walk without a high level of pain and thus able to walk as a useful therapy.