Pediatric Physical Therapy

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Pediatric Physical Therapy:
doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e318218efc3
Research Article

Effect of Weight-Bearing in Abduction and Extension on Hip Stability in Children With Cerebral Palsy

Martinsson, Caroline PT, MSc; Himmelmann, Kate MD, PhD

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Abstract

Purpose: To study the effect of 1 year of daily, straddled weight-bearing on hip migration percentage (MP) and muscle length in children with cerebral palsy who were nonambulatory.

Methods: Participants stood upright in maximum tolerated hip abduction and hip and knee extension ½ to 1½ hours per day for 1 year. Controls, matched for age, motor ability, and surgery, were derived from a national cerebral palsy follow-up program.

Results: Participants using straddled weight-bearing after surgery had the largest decrease in MP (n = 3, 20 controls; P = .026). Children using straddled weight-bearing at least 1 hour per day for prevention also improved (n = 8, 63 controls; P = .029). Hip and knee contractures were found only in controls.

Conclusion: Straddled weight-bearing, 1 hour per day, may reduce the MP after adductor-iliopsoas-tenotomies or prevent an MP increase and preserve muscle length in children with cerebral palsy who did not need surgery. Larger studies are needed to confirm the results.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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