The influence of spasticity in the lower limb muscles on gait patterns in children with sacral to mid-lumbar myelomeningocele: a gait analysis study

Authors: Bartonek, Å., Gutierrez-Farewik, E.M., Haglund-Åkerlind, Y., Saraste, H.
Document Type: Article
Pubstate: Published
Journal: Gait & Posture
Volume: 22   10-25
Year: 2005


Gait analysis and recording of standing position were performed in 38 ambulatory children with myelomeningocele. Thirty-four were independent ambulators and four required a walking aid. All subjects were assigned one of four muscle function groups based on muscle strength. They were also divided into subgroups based on the distinction between flaccid and spastic paresis in the lower limb joints. A comparison was made between the gait pattern of the children with spasticity and that of the children with flaccid paresis in each muscle function group. Spasticity in only the ankle joint muscles influenced the subject’s gait and standing position compared to the subgroups with a flaccid paresis. Even larger deviations in gait and standing position were observed when spasticity occurred in muscles at the knee and hip joints. When setting ambulatory goals the presence of additional neurological symptoms such as spasticity and inadequate balance should be taken into consideration.