Postural asymmetries in young adults with cerebral palsy

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2013 Nov;55(11):1009-15. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.12199. Epub 2013 Jul 9.


Aim: The purpose was to describe posture, ability to change position, and association between posture and contractures, hip dislocation, scoliosis, and pain in young adults with cerebral palsy (CP).

Methods: Cross-sectional data of 102 people (63 males, 39 females; age range 19-23 y, median 21 y) out of a total population with CP was analysed in relation to Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) levels I (n=38), II (n=21), III (n=13), IV (n=10), and V (n=20). The CP subtypes were unilateral spastic (n=26), bilateral spastic (n=45), ataxic (n=12), and dyskinetic CP (n=19). The Postural Ability Scale was used to assess posture. The relationship between posture and joint range of motion, hip dislocation, scoliosis, and pain was analysed using logistic regression and Spearman's correlation.

Results: At GMFCS levels I to II, head and trunk asymmetries were most common; at GMFCS levels III to V postural asymmetries varied with position. The odds ratios (OR) for severe postural asymmetries were significantly higher for those with scoliosis (OR=33 sitting), limited hip extension (OR=39 supine), or limited knee extension (OR=37 standing). Postural asymmetries correlated to hip dislocations: supine (r(s) =0.48), sitting (r(s) =0.40), standing (r(s) =0.41), and inability to change position: supine (r(s) =0.60), sitting (r(s) =0.73), and standing (r(s) =0.64).

Conclusions: Postural asymmetries were associated with scoliosis, hip dislocations, hip and knee contractures, and inability to change position.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Palsy / complications*
  • Contracture / complications
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Hip Dislocation / complications
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pain / complications
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Scoliosis / complications
  • Sensation Disorders / etiology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Young Adult