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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2010 Mar;91(3):448-51. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2009.11.016.

Relationship between age and spasticity in children with diplegic cerebral palsy.

Author information

  • 1Shriners Hospitals for Children, Philadelphia, PA, USA. srpierce@mail.widener.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the relationship between passive torque, reflex activity, co-contraction, and age during the assessment of spasticity of knee flexors and extensors in children with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy (CP).

DESIGN:

Retrospective.

SETTING:

Pediatric orthopedic hospital.

PARTICIPANTS:

Children (N=36) with spastic diplegic CP.

INTERVENTIONS:

Not applicable.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Spasticity of the knee flexors and knee extensors (as measured by peak passive torque, mean passive torque, reflex activity of the medial hamstrings, reflex activity of vastus lateralis, and co-contraction) was assessed during passive movements completed using an isokinetic dynamometer with concurrent electromyography.

RESULTS:

A significant positive relationship was found between age and mean knee flexor passive torque (P<.05), while a significant negative relationship was found between age and mean percentage of the range of motion with co-contraction (P<.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results suggest that passive stiffness may play a larger role in spasticity than reflex activity as children with spastic diplegic CP age. Additional research is needed to determine whether subject age could influence the effectiveness of interventions, such as serial casting or botulinum toxin, for spasticity in children with spastic diplegic CP.

Copyright 2010 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
20298838
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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