Limb deformities in ambulatory children with cerebral palsy (CP) are common. The natural history of lower extremity deformities is variable and the impact on gait is managed with many treatment modalities. Effective interventions must consider the underlying pathophysiology, patient-specific goals, and incorporate objective outcome assessment. Evaluation and treatment include observation, tone management multilevel orthopaedic surgery to address muscle contractures and bony deformities, and the use of gait analysis for preoperative and postoperative assessment.
A PubMed search of the orthopaedic literature for studies published between January 2016 and February 2019 was performed. Eligible abstracts included the use of 3-dimensional instrumented gait analysis in the evaluation and treatment of the lower extremities in ambulatory children with CP. Seven hundred twenty abstracts were reviewed, with 84 papers identified as eligible, of which 45 full manuscripts were included for detailed review.
The review summarized recent advances regarding the treatment of torsional alignment, knee deformities and clinical gait evaluation with visual assessment tools compared with instrumented gait analysis.
Gait analysis of ambulatory children with CP remains essential to evaluation and surgical decision-making. Promising results have been reported with the goal of maintaining or reaching a higher level of function and increased endurance.
Level of Evidence:
Level IV—literature review.