Unilaterally Restricting the Ankle Joint Increases Metabolic Cost of Walking More that Restricting the Knee

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Congratulations to Emily McCain lead author of, “Isolating the energetic and mechanical consequences of imposed reductions in ankle and knee flexion during gait” for her paper published in the Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation. Her work focused on isolating energetic consequences of changes in ankle vs. knee range of motion during post-stroke walking. Using a healthy surrogate cohort, Emily used braces to impose a unilateral restriction on joint motion in a step-wise fashion — first locking only the ankle or knee and then locking both ankle and knee. She found that locking the ankle was worse than locking the knee suggesting that targeting the ankle may yield the best ‘bang for the buck’ for interventions in populations with unilateral impairments.