Comprehensive Treatment of Ambulatory Children with Cerebral Palsy: An Outcome Assessment

Michael H. Schwartz, Elke Viehweger, Jean Stout, Tom F. Novacheck, James R. Gage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


A retrospective study was used to evaluate the outcome of treatment of 135 ambulatory children with cerebral palsy. Diplegic subjects were selected from the existing database at the Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare Motion Analysis Laboratory. All subjects had undergone gait analysis before and after intervention, which included orthopaedic surgery, selective dorsal rhizotomy, or both treatments. Outcome was based on gait pathology, gait efficiency, functional walking ability, and higher-level functional skills. Gait pathology was assessed using 16 clinically relevant kinematic parameters. Gait efficiency was assessed with steady-state oxygen consumption. Walking ability and higher-level functional skills were based on patient report surveys. Improvements were seen in all outcome measures. A significant majority of subjects (79%) improved on a predominance of outcome measures; only 7% of subjects worsened. Within the restrictions of this study design, the results indicate that surgical intervention, guided by preoperative gait analysis, is effective and safe for children with cerebral palsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-53
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004


  • Cerebral palsy
  • Gait analysis
  • Orthopaedic surgery
  • Outcome
  • Rhizotomy
  • Treatment


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