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Surgical rehabilitation of the planovalgus foot in cerebral palsy

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3 Author(s)
Abu-Faraj, Z.O. ; Dept. of Biomed. Eng., Marquette Univ., Milwaukee, WI, USA ; Harris, G.F. ; Smith, P.A.

The objectives of this study were to quantitatively determine the effects of subtalar arthrodesis on the planovalgus foot using three-dimensional (3-D) gait analysis and plantar pressure measurements. Twelve children and adolescents with planovalgus foot deformity secondary to spastic cerebral palsy participated in this outcome study. The pediatric population were evaluated preoperatively and following subtalar fusion. Seventeen feet were operated for the correction of the planovalgus foot deformity. A Holter-type microprocessor-based portable in-shoe data acquisition system was used in this study to collect the multistep dynamic plantar pressure history, while a five-camera Vicon-based gait analysis system was used to track the lower extremity joint kinematics. The results obtained from the plantar pressure measurement showed significant increases in mean peak vertical planter pressures postoperatively at the lateral midfoot and lateral metatarsal heads. Mean contact durations and mean pressure-time integrals were also significantly increased at these plantar locations following foot surgery. This redistribution in pressure metrics suggests the formation of new lateral planter weight bearing areas. The 3-D gait analysis system, using standardized lower extremity measurements, was unable to reveal any significant changes in joint kinematics, particularly at the foot and ankle where the surgery was performed. This suggests the need for a more refined system to track the complex motion of the pediatric foot and ankle during gait.

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Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:9 ,  Issue: 2 )