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Montréal, Canada

Parent A.,University of Quebec at Montreal | Raison M.,CHU Sainte Justine CRME | Raison M.,Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal | Pouliot-Laforte A.,University of Quebec at Montreal | And 4 more authors.
Clinical Biomechanics | Year: 2016

Background Crouch gait results in an increase of the joint stress due to an excessive knee flexion. Daily walking exercises, even when performed at a self-selected speed, may result in a decrease of the extensor muscle strength which could lead to a more severe crouch gait pattern. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of a short walking exercise on gait kinematics in children with cerebral palsy who walk with a crouch gait. Methods Seven children with cerebral palsy who walk with a crouch gait were asked to walk for 6 min at a self-selected speed. The spatio-temporal and kinematic measures, as well as the center of mass position were compared before and after the exercise. Findings There was no significant difference between walking speed before and after the walking exercise. Knee flexion and the maximal ankle dorsiflexion increased after the walking exercise. The vertical position of the center of mass decreased. No significant difference was found at the hip. Interpretation Children with cerebral palsy who walk with a crouch gait were more crouched after a 6-min walking exercise performed at their self-selected speed. These gait modifications could be due to fatigue of the extensor muscle groups. This study highlighted that a short walking exercise, corresponding to daily mobility, results in gait pattern modifications. Since therapies in children with cerebral palsy aim to improve motor function in everyday life situations, it could be relevant to evaluate gait adaptation after a few minutes of walking exercise. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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