Clinical and biomechanical results of multilevel orthopaedic interventions in crouch-gait patients

Dolganova T.I., Gatamov O.I., Chibirov G.M., Dolganov D.V., Popkov D.A.


The aim
of this study was to evaluate the results of multilevel interventions in patients with spastic diplegia and crouch gait.
Materials and methods
The study cohort consisted of 39 patients (10 females, 29 males). The average age of the patients was 16.3 ± 4.29 years (range, 7 to 26 years). In 19 cases, the GMFCS level was III, in 16 cases it corresponded to level II and in 4 cases to level I. The gait study data were analyzed in two groups of patients. In group 1, patients did not have any previous orthopedic interventions, and the crouch gait pattern was considered to have developed naturally (15 patients). In group 2, patients underwent previous operations on the tendon-muscular apparatus (in other medical institutions) such as fibromyotomy (16 patients) or open lengthening of the Achilles tendon (8 patients). The crouch gait pattern in group 2 was considered iatrogenic. Gait analysis using the Edinburgh Scale and 3D analysis was performed before surgery, and at one to 2 years after the interventions.
Upon comparing the pre- and postoperative indicators of the Edinburgh scale, there was an improvement in the indicators of movements in the ankle joint both in the supporting and in the non-supporting phases of the stride cycle for both groups: a decrease in the maximum dorsal flexion of the foot under load, an improvement in the maximum extension in the knee joint during the support phase, practically complete elimination of the pathological orientation of the foot relative to the motion vector, as well as improvement of the position in the knee joint immediately before the initial contact with the supporting surface. Computer gait analysis showed that multilevel surgical interventions improved the parameters of the knee flexion angle at the time of initial contact, increased the amplitude of knee joint extension in the support phase of the stride, normalized the orientation of the foot relative to the motion vector, reduced or completely corrected the pathological values of the dorsal flexion of the foot in the support phase of the stride and reduced the energetic intensity of movements. There was no significant increase in the indicators reflecting the strength characteristics of the plantar flexors, which reflects a pronounced suppression of the function of these muscles in the development of crouch gait. GPS changed from 17.1 ± 3.01 to 13.4 ± 3.19 for natural crouch gait and from 15.9 ± 6.16 to 14.8 ± 4.6 for iatrogenic one.
The crouch gait pattern is not homogeneous, both in terms of natural and iatrogenic development, and in terms of orthopedic disorders. The iatrogenic pattern develops with excessive surgical weakening of the plantar flexors of the foot, even if there is no pathological rotation of the lower limb segments in younger patients and with lower GMFCS levels. The planning of multilevel surgical treatment is based on 3D gait analysis and should be aimed at eliminating orthopedic components of the pathology that determine the crouch gait pattern. Surgical treatment enables to improve the kinetics and kinematics in the knee joint and the kinematic indicators of the ankle joint and, in general, increase the gait profile indicator.


cerebral palsy, single-event multilevel orthopedic surgery, crouch gait

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