Managing equinus in children with cerebral palsy: electrical stimulation to strengthen the triceps surae muscle

Dev Med Child Neurol. 1995 Nov;37(11):965-75. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.1995.tb11951.x.


A new therapeutic proposal for the management of equinus in children with cerebral palsy is to strengthen the calf muscles instead of weakening them surgically. Prior research indicates that in children with cerebral palsy the triceps surae muscle is weak and needs strengthening. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) was used as an adjunct to physical therapy. A portable NMES unit with a hand-held remote switch stimulated an active muscle gait cycle. Results are discussed for four children, who showed improved gait, balance, posture, active and passive ankle range of motion, and foot alignment. The toe walkers became plantigrade and the equinovalgus posture of the foot decreased. Spasticity did not increase.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Palsy / complications*
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy*
  • Equinus Deformity / complications*
  • Equinus Deformity / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Spasticity / physiopathology
  • Muscle Spasticity / therapy
  • Muscle, Skeletal / innervation*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Physical Therapy Modalities