Background: Despite widespread clinical use of weight bearing exercises to manage low bone mineral density (BMD) in children and adolescents with cerebral palsy (CP), previous studies have reported heterogeneous results on the effect of weight bearing exercise on BMD.
Purpose: We performed the current meta-analysis to assess the effects of weight bearing exercise on increasing BMD in children who have CP with low BMD.
Materials and methods: We searched PubMed, Cochrane, and Embase from inception through to October 2016 for studies that aims to investigate the effect of weight bearing exercise on BMD in children with CP. Following the searching result, the 118 relevant studies were reviewed and undergone selection process. Standardized mean difference (SMD), 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and p-values were calculated for analysis.
Results: Three studies were ultimately included in the meta-analysis: one randomized-controlled study and two case-controlled studies. No significant difference was observed in the BMD of the lumbar spine between before treatment and after treatment (SMD,0.341; 95% CI,-0.647-1.330; p=0.449) but the BMD of the femur significantly improved after applying weight bearing exercise compared to pre-treatment values (SMD, 0.916; 95% CI, 0.382-1.114; p⟨0.001).
Conclusions: Weight bearing exercise has a significant effect on improving BMD of the femur in children with CP.