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J Pediatr Orthop. 1997 Nov-Dec;17(6):790-5.

Gait analysis and muscle strength in children with surgically treated clubfeet.

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  • 1Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Dallas 75219, USA.


Twenty-three children who had unilateral surgery for idiopathic clubfeet underwent gait analysis and isokinetic muscle-strength testing at an average of 10 years after surgical release. Ankle sagittal-plane kinematics were disturbed in 20 clubfeet. Fifteen children had an internal foot-progression angle. Genu valgum and knee hyperextension were common. Plantarflexion power was decreased by 23% on the side of surgery (p = 0.00005). Quadriceps weakness (defined as a decrease in strength >10% of the nonoperated-on limb's strength) was seen in nine of 22 operated-on limbs and hamstring weakness in eight of 22. Gastrocsoleus weakness exceeded 10% in 16 of 21 clubfeet. Average weakness of the gastrocsoleus was 27% (p < 0.05). Ten-year analysis of children treated with clubfoot releases revealed disturbances in ankle motion and strength. Loss of plantarflexion power and gastrocsoleus strength can be predicted by Achilles tendon lengthening. Knee kinematic abnormalities and weakness also were seen. These abnormalities produce functional difficulties in gait and may lead to degenerative changes later.

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