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Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics:
Gait Analysis/Neuromuscular

Effects of Surgical Lengthening of the Hamstrings Without a Concomitant Distal Rectus Femoris Transfer in Ambulant Patients With Cerebral Palsy

van der Linden, Mariëtta L Ph.D.; Aitchison, Alison M. B.Sc. (Hons), M.C.S.P.; Hazlewood, M. Elizabeth M.C.S.P.; Hillman, Susan J. M.Sc.; Robb, James E. F.R.C.S.Ed.

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Eighteen ambulant patients (32 legs) who had undergone fractional lengthening of the medial and lateral hamstrings without rectus femoris transfer underwent pre- and postoperative gait analysis. A significant increase in the amount of knee extension and a decrease in the amount of peak knee flexion in swing were observed. This decrease in knee flexion signified a change towards more normal speed-related values. Dorsiflexion at initial contact decreased significantly for patients who did not undergo a gastrocnemius lengthening (n = 24). Absolute cadence was significantly lower after surgery, but the change in dimensionless cadence was not significantly different. This difference in the outcome between dimensionless and absolute stride parameters can be attributed to the increase in body height after surgery. The clinical significance of these findings is that it is important to recognize that postoperative effects of surgery on gait in children may, in part, be explained by changes in height and not surgery alone.

© 2003 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

The Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA)
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