Development of gait in spastic children with cerebral palsy

J Pediatr Orthop. Nov-Dec 1986;6(6):674-80. doi: 10.1097/01241398-198611000-00006.


The gait of 50 spastic children 3-16 years old was recorded and analyzed. All children showed abnormal values of both basal parameters and phases of the stride. In gait velocity and stride length, their values were lower than normal, but they increased with age, with stride length increasing in parallel with normal values. Stride frequency showed a decrease with age, the reverse of normal. Stance and swing, when normalized with regard to stride duration, showed no change with age in spastic children. Also, stance was longer than in normal children, the same tendency as shown by double support. Hemiplegic children showed clearly asymmetric phases. The decreasing stride frequency with increasing age indicates a relative slowing of movements. Most changes with age were, however, the same as in normal children. The prolonged stance and double support suggest deteriorated postural control, resulting in an increased need of support.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Gait*
  • Hemiplegia / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Spasticity / physiopathology
  • Quadriplegia / physiopathology