Pediatric Physical Therapy:
Section Information: Abstracts of Platform and Poster Presentations for the 2005 Combined Sections Meeting: Poster Presentations
Private Practice, Arcadia, CA, USA (Ross)
Physical Therapy, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, USA (Villar, Zimmerman, Forrester, Lohman)
PURPOSE/HYPOTHESIS: The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of physical therapy using Cascade orthotics and an excercise program for children with hypotonia and flat feet.
NUMBER OF SUBJECTS: Thirty-seven children, aged 18 months to 5 years.
MATERIALS/METHODS: Three groups (control, orthotic, and orthotic-exercise), were studied. The orthotic-exercise group practiced bilateral heel lifts besides wearing the orthoses. An arch index was used to assess the width of the medial longitudinal arch (MLA) pre/post interventions. Gait parameters (velocity, step-length, single-limb support, and cadence) were assessed four times in a 6-month period using the GAITRite.
RESULTS: Significant differences pre/post testing (P < 0.05) were found in the arch index for the orthotic group and positve trends were observed for the orthotic-exercise group. Velocity, step-length, single-limb support, and cadence changes were also significant for the three groups over time.
CONCLUSIONS: Interventions benefit children with hypotonia and flat feet. Future studies might consider a longer duration and larger sample size.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The results from this study indicate that interventions of orthotic wear and exercise benefit children with hypotonia and flatfoot dysfunction. While all groups showed significant improvements in the four gait parameters (velocity, step-length, single-limb support, and cadence), the intervention groups demonstrated stronger improvements in arch development, velocity, single-limb support, and cadence.