Background: Children with cerebral palsy (CP) often demonstrate postural control difficulties. Orthotic management may assist in improving postural control in these children.
Objective: The purpose of this investigation was to examine the influence of floor reaction ankle foot orthosis (FRAFO) on postural flexion called the crouch position in children with CP.
Study Design: Quasi-experimental.
Methods: Eight children with spastic diplegic CP and eight matched typically developing children participated in this study. Postural control of children with CP was assessed in a static standing position on a force platform with/without a FRAFO. The parameters used were centre of pressure (CoP) measures, calculated from force platform signals including the standard deviation (SD) of excursion; phase plate portrait and SD of velocity in anteroposterior (AP) and mediolateral (ML) directions.
Results: The maximum knee extension was statistically significant in children with CP when barefoot compared to wearing braced footwear (p < 0.05, t = 10.01). AP and ML displacement, AP velocity and AP phase plate portrait of CoP were not statistically significant between children with CP with/without a FRAFO (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: FRAFO can improve the alignment of the knee, but may not be helpful in improving postural control in children with CP in a short time period.
This article will provide objective evidence about the effect of FRAFO on the postural control in children with CP. Therapists can use FRAFO to effectively decrease the knee joint angle in the sagittal plane in children with spastic CP, but cannot use it to improve the postural control.