In this study, we aimed to evaluate the short-term outcomes of a rehabilitation program with the Hybrid Assistive Limb® after soft tissue lengthening in young patients with cerebral palsy. We assessed six patients with cerebral palsy who underwent soft tissue surgery followed by gait training using the Hybrid Assistive Limb®. Clinical assessments were conducted preoperatively, before, immediately after, and at 1, 2, and 3 months after gait training. Gross Motor Function Measure was improved 5.93 ± 6.11% (mean ± standard deviation, p < 0.05), Canadian Occupational Performance Measure performance was improved 3.12 ± 1.53 points, and satisfaction was improved 3.80 ± 2.14 points (p < 0.05). The knee extension strength on the operated side was changed 7.75 ± 4.97 Nm after the intervention (p = 0.07). In ambulatory patients, gait speed was changed 8.37 ± 1.72 m/min, stride length was changed 10 ± 6.16 cm, and 6 min walking distance was changed 52 ± 16 m after the intervention. Training with the Hybrid Assistive Limb® may improve walking ability and clinical outcomes in young patients with cerebral palsy after soft tissue lengthening.
Keywords: cerebral palsy; exoskeleton device; motor activity; muscle lengthening; physical functional performance; robotics; soft tissue surgery.