To examine the effects of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) on impairments and functional skills of a 13-year-old child with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy (CP).Methods
NMES was administered to the right quadriceps muscles every other day for six weeks. Pre- and posttesting included assessment of strength using a hand-held dynamometer, spasticity using a KinCom® isokinetic dynamometer, gait spatiotemporal parameters using GAITRite®, and functional motor performance with the use of the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI).Results
After intervention, right quadriceps strength increased from 16.3 ± 3.06 to 41.7 ± 4.2 Newtons. Right hamstring spasticity decreased at three tested velocities. In the untreated left lower extremity, strength remained unchanged but spasticity increased. The PEDI showed development of new skills, including the ability to climb stairs with less assistance.Conclusion
These findings indicate that NMES was an effective therapeutic technique to improve strength and motor function of a child with spastic diplegic CP.