This study aims to compare 2 types of splints currently used in boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).

DMD causes muscle weakness and stiff ankles which makes activities such as walking and climbing the stairs difficult. Boys with DMD lose the ability to walk usually by the age of 15 but ankle stiffness can cause this to happen earlier. Maintaining ability to walk for as long as possible is beneficial for posture, bone health and quality of life. We are not clear which of these two splints gives the best stretch to improve stiffness so are comparing 20 boys. 10 boys will be given a rigid plastic moulded splint that is worn overnight for 8 hours (AFO). The other 10 will be given a similar device but which has a hinge, allowing them to move their foot and only needs to be worn for 2 hours in the evening (CCD).

Both devices require the family to continue with daily stretches. Boys will be recruited from paediatric neuromuscular clinic in Newcastle and reviewed in orthotics clinic with extra appointments to measure movement at the ankle, ability to do certain activities and monitor whether they like their splint and how much they wear it.

This information will be used to develop a bigger study to help physiotherapists decide which is the best splint to use.

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