Do the hamstrings and adductors contribute to excessive internal rotation of the hip in persons with cerebral palsy?

Gait Posture. 2000 Jun;11(3):181-90. doi: 10.1016/s0966-6362(00)00046-1.


Children with cerebral palsy frequently walk with excessive internal rotation of the hip. Spastic medial hamstrings or adductors are presumed to contribute to the excessive internal rotation in some patients; however, the capacity of these muscles to produce internal rotation during walking in individuals with cerebral palsy has not been adequately investigated. The purpose of this study was to determine the hip rotation moment arms of the medial hamstrings and adductors in persons who walk with a crouched, internally-rotated gait. Highly accurate computer models of three subjects with cerebral palsy were created from magnetic resonance images. These subject-specific models were used in conjunction with joint kinematics obtained from gait analysis to calculate the rotational moment arms of the muscles at body positions corresponding to each subject's internally-rotated gait. Analysis of the models revealed that the medial hamstrings, adductor brevis, and gracilis had negligible or external rotation moment arms throughout the gait cycle in all three subjects. The adductor longus had an internal rotation moment arm in two of the subjects, but the moment arm was small (<4 mm) in each case. These findings indicate that neither the medial hamstrings nor the adductor brevis, adductor longus, or gracilis are likely to be important contributors to excessive internal rotation of the hip. This suggests that these muscles should not be lengthened to treat excessive internal rotation of the hip and that other factors are more likely to cause internally-rotated gait in these patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Computer Graphics
  • Computer Simulation
  • Female
  • Gait / physiology*
  • Hip Joint / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology
  • Leg*
  • Male
  • Muscle Spasticity / physiopathology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology*