Hamstrings and psoas lengths during normal and crouch gait: implications for muscle-tendon surgery.
ABSTRACT Crouch gait, one of the most common movement abnormalities among children with cerebral palsy, is characterized by persistent flexion of the knee during the stance phase. Short hamstrings are thought to be the cause of crouch gait; thus, crouch gait is often treated by surgical lengthening of the hamstrings. In this study, a graphics-based model of the lower extremity was used in conjunction with three-dimensional kinematic data obtained from gait analysis to estimate the lengths of the hamstrings and psoas muscles during normal and crouch gaits. Only three of 14 subjects with crouch gait (four of 20 limbs with knee flexion of 20 degrees or more throughout stance) had hamstrings that were shorter than normal by more than 1 SD during walking. Most (80%) of the subjects with crouch gait had hamstrings of normal length or longer, despite persistent knee flexion during stance. This occurred because the excessive knee flexion was typically accompanied by excessive hip flexion throughout the gait cycle. All of the subjects with crouch gait had a psoas that was shorter than normal by more than 1 SD during walking. These results emphasize the need to consider the geometry and kinematics of multiple joints before performing surgical procedures aimed at correcting crouch gait.
[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Fixed knee flexion deformity (FKFD) is an insidious problem that may complicate the management of patients with neuromuscular compromise due to cerebral palsy, spina bifida, arthrogryposis, and other conditions. The energy costs associated with crouch gait may become prohibitive and, with the inexorable progression of fixed knee flexion, secondary pain may ensue as a result of fragmentation of the patella and/or tibial tubercle. Concomitant or compensatory flexion deformity of the hips and lumbar lordosis may develop, along with "pseudo equinus" of the ankles. Recommended treatments for FKFD have included bracing; physical therapy; and, in recalcitrant cases, distal femoral osteotomy, posterior release, or frame distraction. However, these latter modalities are fraught with potential complications including neurovascular damage, loss of fixation, undercorrection malunion, fracture, and recurrent deformity. Considering that FKFD is often bilateral, the complication risks for a given patient are doubled. In a previous study, the senior author reported successful hemiepiphysiodesis of the distal anterior femur using staples. However, further experience has demonstrated some of the limitations of stapling including relatively slow correction and occasional hardware migration. This led to the development of a more versatile and reliable solution using a pair of anterior tension band plates. In this retrospective clinical study, we are reporting this new technique of promoting gradual correction through guided growth of the distal femur, using a pair of anterior 8-plates. The correction is accomplished simultaneously and bilaterally, without immobilization, and may be combined with other operative procedures as indicated. We reviewed the charts, radiographs in a group of patients treated accordingly. In this group of 18 patients with 29 deformities, we noted correction averaging 1.3 degrees (range, 0.0 [1 patient]-4.8 degrees), with minimal complications. No inadvertent coronal plane deformities were created. Upon full correction, the plates were removed so as to avoid recurvatum. As an alternative to posterior capsulotomy or supracondylar extension osteotomy, we have found that guided growth is an effective and safe method of gradually correcting FKFD in growing children and adolescents. 4 (retrospective clinical series).Journal of pediatric orthopedics 10/2008; 28(6):626-31. · 1.23 Impact Factor
Article: The effect of walking speed on hamstrings length and lengthening velocity in children with spastic cerebral palsy.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Children with cerebral palsy often walk with reduced knee extension in terminal swing, which can be associated with short length or slow lengthening velocity of hamstrings muscles during gait. This study investigated the role of two factors that may contribute to such short and slow hamstrings: walking speed and spasticity. 17 children with spastic cerebral palsy and 11 matched typically developing children walked at comfortable, slow, and fast walking speed. Semitendinosus muscle-tendon length and velocity during gait were calculated using musculoskeletal modeling. Spasticity of the hamstrings was tested in physical examination. Peak hamstrings length increased only slightly with walking speed, while peak hamstrings lengthening velocity increased strongly. After controlling for these effects of walking speed, spastic hamstrings acted at considerably shorter length and slower velocity during gait than normal, while non-spastic hamstrings did not (all P<0.001). These data are important as a reference for valid interpretation of hamstrings length and velocity data in gait analyses at different walking speeds. The results indicate that the presence of spasticity is associated with reduced hamstrings length and lengthening velocity during gait, even at constant walking speed.Gait & posture 03/2009; 29(4):640-4. · 2.58 Impact Factor
Article: Effects of distal hamstring lengthening on sagittal motion in patients with diplegia: hamstring length and its clinical use.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This study was undertaken to determine the effect of distal hamstring lengthening (DHL) on hip and knee sagittal kinematics, and to investigate the validity of modeled hamstring length for clinical use. Patient group consisted of 28 patients (56 limbs, mean age 7.4 years) with spastic diplegia who underwent bilateral DHL and tendo-Achilles lengthening with/without rectus femoris transfer (RFT) (DHL+RFT subgroup, 40 limbs; DHL subgroup, 16 limbs). Kinematic data was obtained by gait analysis, and hamstring lengths were obtained using a musculoskeletal modeling technique. Postoperatively, knee extension improved (p<0.001) without aggravating anterior pelvic tilt (p=0.565). However, DHL aggravated anterior pelvic tilt in the DHL subgroup (2.2 degrees, p=0.011). In terms of concurrent validity, hamstring length was found to be correlated with mean pelvic tilt (r=0.798, p<0.001) and popliteal angle (r=-0.425, p=0.001), but the correlation between hamstring length and knee flexion at initial contact was minimal (r=0.068, p=0.753). In terms of construct validity, DHL did not lengthen mean hamstring length (p=0.918). In conclusion, DHL appeared to significantly improve knee motion in patients with spastic diplegia. Furthermore, DHL did not increase pelvic tilt, when performed with RFT. Modeled hamstring length is believed to have limited validity in patients with cerebral palsy, because it does not reflect knee kinematics or postoperative change when DHL was combined with multilevel surgery.Gait & posture 09/2009; 30(4):487-91. · 2.58 Impact Factor