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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2008 Jul;90(7):946-51. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.90B7.20577.

The outcome of surgical intervention for early deformity in young ambulant children with bilateral spastic cerebral palsy.

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  • 1Gait Laboratory, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, Guy's Hospital, St Thomas' Street, London SE1 9RT, UK.


We reviewed the outcome in 24 children with bilateral spastic cerebral palsy aged seven years or younger for whom surgery was recommended between 1999 and 2005 following gait analysis. A total of 13 children (operative group) had surgery and the remaining 11 (control group) did not, for family or administrative reasons. The operative group had at least two post-operative gait analyses at yearly intervals, with eight children having a third and six children a fourth. The control group had a second analysis after a mean interval of 1.5 years (95% confidence interval 1.1 to 1.9). In the operative group, the Gillette gait index, the ranges of movement in the lower limb joint and knee extension in stance improved following surgery, and this was maintained overall at the second post-operative analysis. The minimum knee flexion in stance in the control group increased between analyses. These results suggest that surgical intervention in selected children can result in improvements in gait and function in the short to medium term compared with non-operative management.

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