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Res Dev Disabil. 2012 Nov-Dec;33(6):2308-16. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2012.07.010. Epub 2012 Jul 31.

Knee muscle strength at varying angular velocities and associations with gross motor function in ambulatory children with cerebral palsy.

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Department of Sports Medicine, China Medical University, 91 Hsueh-Shih Road, Taichung 40402, Taiwan.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationships of muscle strength at different angular velocities and gross motor functions in ambulatory children with cerebral palsy (CP). This study included 33 ambulatory children with spastic CP aged 6-15 years and 15 children with normal development. Children with CP were categorized into level I (n=17) or level II (n=16) according to Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) levels. All children underwent curl-up test and isokinetic tests of the knee extensor and flexor muscle. Children with CP underwent the gross motor function assessments, including the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM-66) and the gross motor subtests of Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOTMP). The hamstring-quadriceps ratio (HQ ratio) was calculated as 100%×(isokinetic peak torque of hamstring (knee flexor)/isokinetic peak torque of quadriceps (knee extensor)). Children with GMFCS level II had lower BOTMP and GMFM-66 scores, curl-up scores, HQ ratio, and knee muscle strength, especially knee flexor, compared to those with GMFCS level I. The regression analysis showed that knee flexor torques at 60 and 90°/s are mainly related to balance (r(2)=0.167, p=0.011) and strength (r(2)=0.243, p=0.002) while knee flexor torques at 120°/s mainly contribute to running speed and agility (r(2)=0.372, p<0.001). These findings suggest that children with CP had knee strength deficits, especially knee flexor. Postural muscle (knee flexor) strength dominated gross motor function than antigravity muscle strength (knee extensor). The knee flexor strength at different angular velocities was associated with various gross motor tasks. The HQ ratio may be used as a potential biomarker to probe the therapeutic effectiveness for muscle strengthening in these children. These data may allow clinician for formulating effective muscle strengthening strategies for these children.

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