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Dev Med Child Neurol. 2005 Oct;47(10):684-90.

Immediate effect of percutaneous intramuscular stimulation during gait in children with cerebral palsy: a feasibility study.

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Programs in Rehabilitation Sciences, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19102-1192, USA.


The feasibility of percutaneous intramuscular functional electrical stimulation (P-FES) in children with cerebral palsy (CP) for immediate improvement of ankle kinematics during gait has not previously been reported. Eight children with CP (six with diplegia, two with hemiplegia; mean age 9 years 1 month [SD 1 y 4 mo; range 7 y 11 mo to 11 y 10 mo]) had percutaneous intramuscular electrodes implanted into the gastrocnemius (GA) and tibialis anterior (TA) muscles of their involved limbs. Stimulation was provided during appropriate phases of the gait cycle in three conditions (GA only, TA only, and GA/TA). immediately after a week of practice for each stimulation condition, a gait analysis was performed with and without stimulation. A significant improvement in peak dorsiflexion in swing for the more affected extremity and dorsiflexion at initial contact for the less affected extremity were found in the GA/TA condition. Clinically meaningful trends were evident for improvements in dorsiflexion kinematics for the more and less affected extremities in the TA only and GA/TA conditions. The results suggest that P-FES might immediately improve ankle kinematics in children with CP.

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