Relationship of spasticity to knee angular velocity and motion during gait in cerebral palsy.Gait Posture. 2006 Jan; 23(1):1-8.GP
This study investigated the effects of spasticity in the hamstrings and quadriceps muscles on gait parameters including temporal spatial measures, knee position, excursion and angular velocity in 25 children with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy (CP) as compared to 17 age-matched peers. While subjects were instructed to relax, an isokinetic device alternately flexed and extended the left knee at one of the three constant velocities 30 degrees/s, 60 degrees/s and 120 degrees/s, while surface electromyography (EMG) electrodes over the biceps femoris and the rectus femoris recorded muscle activity. Patients then participated in 3D gait analysis at a self-selected speed. Results showed that, those with CP who exhibited heightened stretch responses (spasticity) in both muscles, had significantly slower knee angular velocities during the swing phase of gait as compared to those with and without CP who did not exhibit stretch responses at the joint and the tested speeds. The measured amount (torque) of the resistance to passive flexion or extension was not related to gait parameters in subjects with CP; however, the rate of change in resistance torque per unit angle change (stiffness) at the fastest test speed of 120 degrees/s showed weak to moderate relationships with knee angular velocity and motion during gait. For the subset of seven patients with CP who subsequently underwent a selective dorsal rhizotomy, knee angular extension and flexion velocity increased post-operatively, suggesting some degree of causality between spasticity and movement speed.