The Influence of the use of ankle-foot orthoses on thorax, spine and pelvis kinematics during walking in children with cerebral palsy.

Eva Swinnen, Jean-Pierre Baeyens, Benjamin Van Mulders, Julian Verspecht, Marc Degelaen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Abstract
Background:
To improve gait function in children with cerebral palsy, ankle-foot orthoses are often prescribed. However, until now, little attention has been devoted to the effect of ankle-foot orthoses on the postural control during walking in children with cerebral palsy.

Objectives:
The aim was to compare the differences in thorax, spine, and pelvis movements in children with cerebral palsy during walking barefoot and walking with ankle-foot orthoses.

Study design:
Clinical study with an intra subject design.

Methods:
A total of 15 children (12 boys and 3 girls; mean age, 8 ± 2 years) with bilateral spastic cerebral palsy (12 with Gross Motor Function Classification System I and 3 with Gross Motor Function Classification System II) performed a full-body three-dimensional gait analysis. Differences in the range of motion of the thorax, spine, and pelvis during walking barefoot and walking with bilateral ankle-foot orthoses were analyzed (SPSS v20, paired-samples t-test).

Results:
Children with cerebral palsy showed a significantly larger range of motion of the thorax (flexion/extension, lateral bending, and rotation) and the spine (lateral bending) during walking with ankle-foot orthoses compared to walking barefoot. No significant differences were found in the range of motion of the pelvis between these two conditions.

Conclusion:
It can be concluded that wearing ankle-foot orthoses influences the postural control during walking in children with bilateral spastic cerebral palsy. Due to the increased range of motions, the movement pattern of the trunk diverges from the typically developing children.

Clinical relevance
Wearing ankle-foot orthoses not only gives more stability at the pelvis and ankle joint but also influences trunk motion. In order of the level of core stability of the child, compensations can be either seen in the lower back or the upper trunk. Clinicians should be aware of these compensations and should evaluate postural control in a more detailed evaluation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-213
Number of pages6
JournalProsthetics & Orthotics International
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017

Keywords

  • Cerebral palsy
  • foot orthoses
  • gait
  • pelvis
  • thorax

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