Effect of Knee Orthoses on Hamstring Contracture in Children With Cerebral Palsy: Multiple Single-Subject Study

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Purpose:To examine the effect of knee orthoses on extensibility of the hamstrings in children with spastic cerebral palsy (CP).Methods:The short-term effects of knee orthoses on passive range of motion (ROM), spasticity, and gross motor function of the hamstrings. Ten children with spastic CP, aged 5 to 14 years, at Gross Motor Function Classification System levels I to V, were followed. The orthoses were worn for a minimum of 30 minutes day, 5 days per week, during the intervention period of 8 weeks.Results:Visual analysis using the Two Standard Deviation Band Method supported improvements in passive ROM for all 20 hamstring muscles and in 12 of 14 knee extension measurements. Analyses with the Wilcoxon signed rank test confirm the individual results and support a significant increase in hamstring muscles (P = .005) and knee extension (right: P =.028; left: P =.018) compared with baseline.Conclusions:In children with spastic CP, 8 weeks of treatment with knee orthoses can improve extensibility of the hamstrings.

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