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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2021 Feb 23

DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.21.06566-7

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Effectiveness comparison between carbon spring and hinged ankle-foot orthoses in crouch gait treatment of children with diplegic cerebral palsy: a randomized crossover trial

Corrado BORGHI 1 , Stefania COSTI 2, Debora FORMISANO 3, Rita NEVIANI 4, Daniela PANDARESE 1, Adriano FERRARI 1

1 Motion Analysis Laboratory LAMBDA, Azienda USL, IRCCS di Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia, Italy; 2 Scientific Directorate, Azienda USL, IRCCS di Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia, Italy; 3 Clinical Governance, Azienda USL, IRCCS di Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia, Italy; 4 Children Rehabilitation Specialized Unit - UDGEE, Santa Maria Nuova Hospital, Azienda USL, IRCCS di Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia, Italy


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BACKGROUND: Children with cerebral palsy (CP) often present a loss of effectiveness of the plantarflexors/knee-extensors couple that leads to crouch gait. When treating a child with crouch gait by means of ankle foot orthoses, preserving or restoring push off power is a key issue.
AIM: To compare carbon-fiber spring (Carbon Ankle Seven® = CAFO) and hinged anklefoot orthoses (HAFO) effectiveness in improving functionality and walking ability in children with diplegic CP and crouch gait.
DESIGN: Randomized crossover trial.
SETTING: Hospital center.
POPULATION: Ten children with diplegic CP and crouch gait, 5 males and 5 females, aged 11 (4) years.
METHODS: The gait of each child was evaluated by means of instrumental gait analysis with both CAFO and HAFO, in a randomized order and after a 4-week adaptation period. The primary outcome measure was the change in ankle power generation. As secondary outcome measures, knee joint kinematics, stride length, walking speed, Observational Gait Scale, and preferred orthosis were considered.
RESULTS: The median of the energy produced in stance was superior with CAFO (+2.2 J/kg, IQR 4.7, p=0.006), and the energy absorbed inferior (-3.3 J/kg, IQR 4.3, p=0.011). No statistically significant difference was found for any other parameter. Preference of the children was equally distributed between the two orthoses.
CONCLUSIONS: No evident superiority of CAFO with respect to HAFO was found in improving gait performance of children with CP and crouch gait. Nevertheless, the results suggest the possibility that CAFO permits an energy saving and reduction of the more compromising deficits.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: The final choice of the participants indicates that CAFOs are preferred by older and heavier children, but the preference does not correlate with the performance of the orthoses during gait.


KEY WORDS: Cerebral palsy; Crouch gait; Ankle foot orthosis; Gait analysis; Ankle power

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