OBJECTIVE: To develop a clinical and instrumental protocol to assess the postural and dynamic effects following treatment with botulinum neurotoxin A in children with cerebral palsy affected by spastic equinus. DESIGN: Open study, in which every patient served as his or her own control.Patients: Ten sequential children with cerebral palsy and spastic dynamic equinus foot. METHODS: Botulinum neurotoxin A was injected in the gastrocnemius, soleus and tibialis posterior muscles. The main measures were: pedobarometry, dynamic surface electromyography, video gait analysis scale, and the modified Ashworth Scale. RESULTS: After treatment with botulinum neurotoxin A, pedobarometric evaluation revealed a significant change in all parameters, including a decrease in the modified Ashworth Scale and an increase in the range of motion. All children showed significant improvement in initial foot contact, as documented by the video gait analysis scale. The calf muscle electromyography pattern showed a decrease in co-contraction during gait in all children. These modifications were statistically significant for all parameters considered (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: This pilot study suggests that dynamic electromyography and pedobarometry are simple to use and provide useful data; this protocol could be preferable in young and uncooperative children in order to monitor rehabilitation treatments.
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