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Gait Posture. 2019 Jan;67:65-70. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2018.09.003. Epub 2018 Sep 6.

The influence of crouch gait on sagittal trunk position and lower lumbar spinal loading in children with cerebral palsy.

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Gait Laboratory, Central Remedial Clinic, Clontarf, Dublin 3, Ireland. Electronic address:
Gait Laboratory, Central Remedial Clinic, Clontarf, Dublin 3, Ireland.



Crouch gait is a common pattern in children with CP. Little investigation has been performed as to the role of the trunk during crouch gait. A compensatory movement of the trunk may alter the position of the ground reaction force with the effect of reducing the moment arm about the knee or hip. While this may benefit these joints in the context of reduced loading, there may be implications further up the kinematic chain at the level of the lumbar spine.


Are compensatory movements of the trunk present during crouch gait in children with CP and are levels of loading at the lower lumbar spine affected?


A full barefoot lower limb and trunk 3-dimensional kinematic and kinetic analysis, with kinetics estimated at the spinal position of L5/S1, was performed on 3 groups of children, namely CP Crouch, CP No-Crouch and TD. Differences in trunk position and L5/S1 loading were compared between groups.


Mean trunk position in relation to the pelvis and laboratory was not statistically significant between groups. At the level of the spine, no differences were present in mean position between groups for L5/S1 sagittal moment or anterior/posterior force.


Crouch gait does not elicit a compensatory response of the trunk in children with CP and, consequently, reactive forces and moments at the lower lumbar spine remain within normal limits. With this in mind, it is unlikely that a crouch gait pattern will affect the health of the spine over time in these children.


Cerebral palsy; Crouch gait; Inverse dynamics; L5/S1 spine; Trunk

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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