Gait Characteristics of Children with Spastic Cerebral Palsy during Inclined Treadmill Walking under a Virtual Reality Environment.

Research paper by Ye Y Ma, Yali Y Liang, Xiaodong X Kang, Ming M Shao, Lilja L Siemelink, Yanxin Y Zhang

Indexed on: 27 Nov '20Published on: 19 Sep '19Published in: Applied bionics and biomechanics


To investigate gait characteristics in children with spastic cerebral palsy during inclined treadmill walking under a virtual reality environment. Ten (CP) children and ten (TD) children were asked to walk at their comfortable speed on a treadmill at a ground level and 10° inclined. Three-dimensional kinematic data and ground reaction force data were captured in a computer-assisted rehabilitation environment system. Kinetic parameters and dynamic balance parameters were calculated using a standard biomechanical approach. During uphill walking, both groups decreased walking speed and stride length and increased peak pelvis tilt, ankle dorsiflexion, and hip flexion. Compared with TD children, CP children had decreased walking speed and stride length, decreased peak hip abduction moment, increased stance phase percentage, increased peak ankle dorsiflexion and knee flexion, and increased peak hip extension moment. The peak trunk rotation angle, ankle angle at initial contact, and stride length showed a significant group∗walking condition interaction effect. CP children showed similar adjustments for most gait parameters during uphill walking as TD children. With a lower walking speed, CP children could maintain similar dynamic balance as TD children. Uphill walking magnifies the existing abnormal gait patterns of the cerebral palsy children. We suggest that during a treadmill training with an inclination, the walking speed should be carefully controlled in the case of improving peak joint loading too much.