MDF Maximum dorsiflexion MPF Maximum plantarflexion PCSA Physiological cross-sectional area AIM The aim of this article was to compare medial gastrocnemius muscle volume, physiological cross-sectional area (PCSA), muscle length, fascicle length, and pennation angle in children aged 2 to 5 years with spastic cerebral palsy (CP) and in typically developing children.METHOD Fifteen children with spastic CP (11 males, four females; mean age 45mo [SD 15mo]; five with hemiplega; 10 with diplega; 10 classified at Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) level I, five at GMFCS level II) and 20 typically developing children (11 males, nine females; mean age 48mo [SD 14mo]) participated in the study. Individuals with spastic CP were included if they had a minimum range of motion of 0°ankle dorsiflexion with the knee extended and were excluded if they had had previous botulinum toxin treatment to the calf muscles or previous calf surgery. Typically developing children were included if they were able to walk independently and were excluded if there was a history of previous lower leg injury or other developmental disorder affecting the lower limb. Freehand two-dimensional and threedimensional ultrasound was used to assess muscle properties of the relaxed medial gastrocnemius muscle at three ankle joint angles: maximum dorsiflexion, neutral and maximum plantarflexion. PCSA was calculated as a function of muscle volume and muscle fascicle length and pennation angle was recorded at the neutral ankle joint angle.RESULTS Medial gastrocnemius muscle volume was 22% lower in the group with spastic CP than in the typically developing group, which in the absence of significant group differences in neutral fascicle length gave rise to an equivalent reduction in PCSA for the group with spastic CP. Significant positive correlations were found between muscle volume and age (r=0.63-0.65) and between muscle length and age (r=0.72-0.81) in both groups. Maximum ankle dorsiflexion angle was also reduced in the group with spastic CP (8°) compared with the typically developing group (26°).
INTERPRETATIONThe observed reduction in muscle PCSA in the group with spastic CP would be expected to contribute to the clinically observed muscle weakness in spastic CP and suggests the need for early intervention in order to minimize loss of muscle PCSA in spastic CP.Spastic cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of non-progressive motor impairment syndromes that occur secondary to lesions of the brain in the early stages of development.1 Spasticity is the key feature of spastic CP and is neural in origin. However, it is clear that spastic muscle also undergoes significant morphological and structural alterations during development. Involved muscles often shorten to create muscle contractures, which contribute to increased joint stiffness and reduced joint range of motion and may contribute to reduced voluntary strength. These impairments progress over time, and limb movement and general functional ability often decline.2-4 As the secondary effects of spas...
This study provides Level-II evidence that single-event multilevel surgery improves the gait of children with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy twelve months after surgery. Improvements in other domains, including gross motor function and quality of life, were not observed until twenty-four months after surgery.
AIM The aim of this study was to investigate whether individualized resistance training improves the physical mobility of young people with cerebral palsy (CP).METHOD Forty-eight participants with spastic diplegic CP (26 males, 22 females; mean age 18y 1mo, SD 1y 11mo) classified as level II or III on the Gross Motor Function Classification System were allocated randomly to progressive resistance training or usual-care control. Resistance training was completed twice weekly for 12 weeks at a community gymnasium under the supervision of a physiotherapist. Exercises were based on instrumented gait analysis and targeted muscles contributing to walking difficulties. Outcomes at 12 weeks and 24 weeks included objective measures of mobility (6-min walk test, instrumented gait analysis, and Gross Motor Function Measure dimensions D and E), participant-rated measures of mobility (Functional Mobility Scale and Functional Assessment Questionnaire), and muscle performance.
RESULTSThe strength of targeted muscles increased by 27% (95% CI 8-46%) compared with control group. There were no between-group differences in any objective measure of mobility at 12 weeks (6-min walk test: mean difference 0.1m; 95% CI À21 to 21m) or at 24 weeks. Participant-rated mobility improved (Functional Mobility Scale at 5m: mean 0.6 units; 95% CI 0.1-1.1 units; Functional Assessment Questionnaire: 0.8 units; 95% CI 0.1-1.6 units) compared with control group at 12 weeks.
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