The effect of serial casting on gait in children with cerebral palsy: preliminary results from a crossover trial

A E McNee, E Will, J P Lin, L C Eve, M Gough, M C Morrissey, A P Shortland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Serial casting aims to improve an equinus gait pattern in children with spastic cerebral palsy (SCP). We evaluated the effect of short-term stretch casting on gait in children with SCP, compared to the natural history. A crossover trial, consisting of a control phase and a casting phase, was conducted with children randomised into two groups. Both groups were assessed clinically, and using 3D gait analysis, at 0, 5 and 12 weeks. Subjects in one group had the 3 month casting phase first and in the other had the 3 month control period first. Casts were changed weekly and set at maximum available ankle dorsiflexion. The mean changes at 5 weeks and 12 weeks from baseline measurements in the casting phase were compared with the change within the same time interval in the control phase. Significant improvements in passive ankle dorsiflexion (knee flexed) were found at 5 and 12 weeks. Passive ankle dorsiflexion (knee extended), ankle dorsiflexion in single support, ankle dorsiflexion in swing and minimum hip flexion in stance improved significantly at 5 weeks but not at 12 weeks from baseline. Other kinematic parameters, the score on the Gillette Functional Assessment Questionnaire, and maximum reported walking distance were not changed by casting. Casting to improve range appears to improve passive and dynamic ankle dorsiflexion, but the changes are small, short lived and do not appear to affect function. (C) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463 - 468
Number of pages6
JournalGAIT AND POSTURE
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007

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