The Effects of a Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation Home Program on Impairments and Functional Skills of a Child with Spastic Diplegic Cerebral Palsy: A Case Report

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Abstract

Purpose

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.

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