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The pathological gait of children with cerebral palsy involves higher mechanical work, which limits their ability to function properly in society. Mechanical work is directly related to walking speed and, although a number of studies have been carried out in this field, few of them analysed the effect of the speed. The study aimed to develop standards for mechanical work during gait of children with cerebral palsy depending on the walking speed. The study covered 18 children with cerebral palsy and 14 healthy children. The BTS Smart software and the author's software were used to evaluate mechanical work, kinetic, potential and rotational energy connected with motion of the children body during walk. Compared to healthy subjects, mechanical work in children with cerebral palsy increases with the degree of disability. It can be expressed as a linear function of walking speed and shows strong and statistically significant correlations with walking gait. A negative statistically significant correlation between the degree of disability and walking speed can be observed. The highest contribution to the total mechanical energy during gait is from mechanical energy of the feet. Instantaneous value of rotational energy is 700 times lower than the instantaneous mechanical energy. An increase in walking speed causes the increase in the effect of the index of kinetic energy on total mechanical work. The method described can provide an objective supplementation for doctors and physical therapists to perform a simple and immediate diagnosis without much technical knowledge.
Ground reaction forces (GRF) reflect the force history of human body contact with the ground. The purpose of this study was to explore human gait abnormalities due to planovalgus by comparing vertical GRF data between individuals with planovalgus and those with neutrally aligned feet. Second we estimated associations between various measurements and vertical GRF parameters in a pediatric population. Boys and girls between the ages of 4 and 18 years (72 planovalgus feet and 74 neutrally aligned feet) took part in this study. Ground reaction forces were recorded by two Kistler platforms and normalized to body weight. Comparison of vertical GRF between planovalgus and neutrally aligned feet suggests that the first and the second peaks of vertical force (Fz1, Fz2) are most affected by planovalgus. The results also indicate that neutrally aligned feet display a different ground reaction force pattern than planovalgus, and that differences between boys and girls may be observed. The shape of the vertical GRF curve can help in clinical interpretation of abnormal gait.
Gait analysis is an objective tool for the clinical assessment of locomotor activity in children with cerebral palsy (CP). Correct diagnosis and properly planned rehabilitation are necessary for enhanced motor functions in persons suffering from cerebral palsy. Orthoses, orthopedic operations, medications and physiotherapy are the most common treatments. However, there is still a lack of objective methods for assessing motor behavior and monitoring the progress of recovery. The aim of the study was to use the ground reaction force patterns generated during walking to create the Integral Method (IM), which could become an objective tool that could supplement the functional classification of CP children based on the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS). A total of 15 healthy children and 34 children with CP who walk independently participated in the study. A Kistler force plate and GRFintegral software were used. Of the 34 measurements based on the IM for CP children, 17 matched the level assigned by the GMFCS, 2 children were assigned a higher level, and 15 were assigned a lower level. Pearson’s correlation coefficient between the IM and the GMFCS was moderate (r = 0.61, p ≤ 0.01). Asymmetry was found in 11 cases. The IM supplements the GMFCS and is an objective and quantitative assessment of motor abilities. The method allows for the detection of asymmetry, diagnosis of the improvement of gait pattern and assessment of foot support technique. With the appropriate software, the IM provides pediatricians, neurologists, orthopedists, surgeons and physiotherapists with a simple and fast way to assess gait.
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