Long-Term Benefits of Early Ankle-Foot Orthoses Intervention in Pediatric Non‐Central Nervous System Cancer Patients

Date of Award

Summer 6-26-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Orthotics and Prosthetics



First Advisor

Darren Wiens

Second Advisor

Brenda Kehret

Third Advisor

Amy Funke


This research investigates early AFO intervention for children with chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy. Studies show trends that suggest AFO intervention could be helpful in reducing impairments of survivors into adulthood.

Purpose: Children who are receiving cancer treatments are at a high risk of physical limitations, of which can progress into adulthood. This is due to the neurotoxic chemotherapy drugs Vincristine and Methotrexate, which have been proven to cause peripheral neuropathy. This study investigates the effectiveness of early ankle foot orthosis (AFO) intervention in children with non-central nervous system cancer who received a cancer treatment including Vincristine and/or Methotrexate.

Methods: Participants included children aged 5 to 17 years who are diagnosed with non-CNS cancer. Patients wore bilateral solid AFOs for one year while undergoing treatment. The effects of the intervention, such as gait, strength, range of motion (ROM), fatigue, physical performance and quality of life were measured.

Conclusion: The previous research laid the groundwork for this study. It showed that AFO intervention was feasible and did improve the physical performance of the children who participated. This study’s goal was to expand on the previous research and ascertain the benefits of early AFO intervention in pediatric cancer patients.

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