The aim of this present study was to investigate the ground reaction forces (GRFs) alterations in stroke survivors with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN).
Ten stroke survivors with DPN, 10 stroke survivors without DPN, and 10 healthy controls with matched body weight between groups participated in this case-control cross-sectional study. Three-dimensional GRFs (anterior-posterior, medial-lateral, and vertical) were collected at a comfortable walking speed using the Nexus Vicon motion analysis system and force plate. The Kruskal-Wallis test was used to analyze GRFs parameters.
We found significant alterations of medial-lateral forces of the nonparetic side 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.
The study findings identified that GRFs were affected in stroke survivors with DPN on both the paretic and the nonparetic sides. Further investigations are warranted to explore the impact of DPN on the kinematics and muscle activity related to the gait performance in stroke survivors with DPN.