Physical Therapy published research on the use of supramalleolar orthosis (SMO) and treadmill training in infants with Down Syndrome. Seventeen infants were assigned to treadmill training with SMO's or treadmill training without SMO's. The infants received 3 minutes of treadmill training until the infant was able to take 3 steps independently. One month following the motor skill acquisition of independently taking 3 steps the Gross Motor Function Measure was administered. The infants who did the treadmill training without the SMO's had higher scores on the Gross Motor Function Measure in standing, walking, running and jumping. The researchers concluded that the use of orthosis may have a "detrimental effect of overall gross motor development".
Reference: Looper, Julia, Ulrich, Dale A. Effect of Treadmill Training and Supramalleolar Orthosis Use on Motor Skill Development in Infants With Down Syndrome
PHYS THER 2010 0: ptj.20090021