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Dev Med Child Neurol. 2007 Aug;49(8):615-20.

Effects of carbon fibre spring orthoses on gait in ambulatory children with motor disorders and plantarflexor weakness.

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Karolinska Institutet, Department of Woman and Child Health, Stockholm, Sweden.


A consecutive series of 17 children (six males, 11 females; mean age 11y 11mo [SD 4y 5mo]; range 3y 11mo-17y 4mo) with plantarflexor weakness was assessed to compare gait differences between a carbon fibre spring orthosis (CFSO) and participants' regular orthoses. Twelve children had myelomeningocele, four children had arthrogryposis, and one child had neuropathy with peripheral muscle pareses. All participants underwent clinical examination and 3D gait analysis. Parents answered a questionnaire to assess subjective perceptions of the orthoses. Results from 3D gait analysis provided evidence that CFSOs enhance gait function in most participants by improving ankle plantarflexion moment (p<0.001), ankle positive work (p<0.001), and stride length (p<0.001). The CFSO did not suit all participants, which emphasizes the importance of analyzing each patient's needs.

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