ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to compare functional gait differences between patients with myelomeningocele (MM) who have a ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS) with those who do not. Our analyses were adjusted for confounding by age, lesion level, orthotic use, and assistive device use. The Functional Mobility Scale (FMS) was used to compare the shunted group (n=98; 60 males, 38 females; mean age 10y 2mo [SD 3y 11mo]; 73 sacral/19 low lumber/six high lumbar lesion level) with the non-shunted group (n=63; 32 males, 31 females; mean age 9y 11mo [SD 3y 11mo]; 45 sacral/12 low lumber/six high lumbar lesion level). Participants with a shunt had lower FMS 500 and FMS 50 scores compared with participants without a shunt; hence the participants without a shunt were more independent in their ambulation at medium and longer distances. For a subset of participants who underwent a three-dimensional gait analysis, we also collected temporal-spatial gait parameters (velocity, cadence, and stride length). Our results show that participants with MM and no shunt who underwent gait analysis(11 males, 10 females; mean age 9y 6mo [SD 4y]; 15 sacral/6 low lumber/0 high lumbar lesion level) tend to walk at a significantly greater velocity and stride length as compared with those with a shunt (33 males, 18 females; mean age 10y [SD 4y]; 38 sacral/13 low lumber/zero high lumbar lesion level). These data allow the treatment team to present more specific information regarding functional ambulatory expectations to patients with MM and their families.
Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology 11/2007; 49(10):764-9. · 2.92 Impact Factor