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J Pediatr Rehabil Med. 2012;5(3):171-9.

Effect of ankle-foot orthoses on trunk sway and lower limb intersegmental coordination in children with bilateral cerebral palsy.

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Centre d'Analyse du Mouvement, Hôpital Brugmann, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium.



Ankle-foot orthoses may significantly improve lower limb kinematics in the gait of children with cerebral palsy. Here we aimed to analyze the effect of ankle-foot orthoses on trunk postural control and lower limb intersegmental coordination in children with mild spastic diplegia (GMFCS I or II).


We recorded tridimensional trunk kinematics and thigh, shank, and foot elevation angles in 20 4-12 year-old children born preterm with spastic diplegia and 20 typically developing children while walking either barefoot or with ankle-foot orthoses.


We found significantly greater trunk excursions in children with cerebral palsy compared to typically developing children in both conditions. When wearing ankle-foot orthoses cerebral palsy children showed increased trunk frontal angular velocity. No significant changes in trunk displacement and angular velocity were recorded in the sagittal plane in either group. Typically developing children wearing orthoses showed increased trunk frontal displacement. Wearing orthoses induced significant changes in shank and foot elevation in both groups.


Ankle-foot orthoses affect postural control and intersegmental coordination in children with cerebral palsy. This should be taken into account when planning therapeutic management.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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