Objectives: To examine gait in children with juvenile chronic arthritis (JCA) with reference to velocity, ground reaction forces and temporal parameters.
Methods: Fifteen children with JCA were assigned into two groups (uni- and bilateral involvement and classified as pauci- or polyarticular arthritis). Fourteen healthy children participated in the control group. Light-beams were used to determine walking velocity and the children with JCA rated their pain on a visual analogue scale. Two force plates registered the ground reaction forces and foot-switches were used to obtain temporal parameters.
Results: The mean velocity for the children with JCA was significantly less than for the healthy controls. Velocity normalized to height showed a tendency for the children with JCA to walk slower than controls. Differences between JCA children and healthy controls were observed for peak vertical forces during heel contact and push-off. No temporal differences were observed between the groups.
Conclusions: Such kinetic and temporal information may provide the clinician with a sensitive tool for pre- and post assessment of intra-articular steroid injections and/or physical therapy.