Article

Gait analysis of cerebral palsy children before and after rhizotomy

Department of Bioengineering, Clemson University, S.C.
Pediatric neuroscience 02/1988; 14(6):297-300. DOI: 10.1159/000120408
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Over the past decade, selective posterior rhizotomy has been used successfully to reduce spasticity in patients with cerebral palsy. Although clinical evaluation of these patients revealed functional improvement following surgery, more objective analysis of the outcome of this surgery was sought. Kinematic gait analysis of 14 patients with spastic cerebral palsy was performed before and after selective posterior rhizotomy. Measurements of stride length, thigh range of motion, knee range of motion, average speed of walking, and cadence were made. Statistically significant increases in stride length, thigh range and knee range were found. Average speed was increased and cadence was virtually unchanged. These results corroborate clinical findings of improvement in gait of spastic patients with cerebral palsy following selective posterior rhizotomy.

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    • "In these cases the electromyographic activity of the muscles assessed is generally characterized by the temporal (on/off) phasic behavior of the muscles relative to the desired movement . Vaughan and colleagues [44] [45] have advocated a need for studies to integrate motion data with electromyographic data, and we believe this integration can extend beyond an examination of the temporal activity of the muscles. Furthermore, as implied by its very name, gait analysis is limited to those individuals who are capable of ambulation. "
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    ABSTRACT: The recent increase in popularity of selective posterior rhizotomy demands objective documentation of surgical outcome. For this reason, the authors have analyzed the status of 25 children with spastic cerebral palsy before and after rhizotomy to determine the effects of this therapy on muscle tone, range of movement, and motor function. Postoperative tests showed a reduction in muscle tone compared with preoperative assessments. Range of motion in the lower extremities was significantly increased and improvements in functional gross motor skills were noted. An increase in range of motion in the knees and thighs during gait was detected in 18 ambulatory patients studied with computerized two-dimensional motion analysis. Preliminary findings indicate that selective posterior rhizotomy reduced spasticity, thereby increasing range of motion and contributing to improvements in active functional mobility.
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