Quantitative measurement of spastic ankle joint stiffness using a manual device: A preliminary study

Toshiki Kobayashi, Kam Lun Leung, Yasushi Akazawa, Masao Tanaka, Stephen W. Hutchins

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Quantitative measurement of ankle joint stiffness following stroke could prove useful in monitoring the progress of a rehabilitation programme. The objective of this study was to design a manual device for use in the clinical setting. Manual measurement of spastic ankle joint stiffness has historically been conducted using hand-held dynamometers or alternative devices, but some difficulties have been reported in controlling the velocity applied to the ankle during the measurement. In this study, a manually operated device was constructed with a footplate, a torquemeter and a potentiometer. It was mechanically designed to rotate around an approximated axis of the ankle joint and to measure ankle joint angular position and its corresponding resistive torque. Two stroke hemiplegic subjects pariticapted in a pilot study. The results suggested that difficulty in controlling the applied velocity might be complemented by presenting torque data as a function of peak angular velocity in each stretching cycle. Moreover, the results demonstrated that the device could potentially apply a wide range of angular velocities and provide potentially useful clinical information. Quantitative data successfully acquired using this method included the approximate ankle angular position, where the velocity-dependent characteristics of stiffness was notably initiated and its corresponding torque and velocity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1831-1834
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2010


  • Ankle
  • Manual
  • Quantification
  • Spasticity
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • General Medicine


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