Muscle contributions to vertical and fore-aft accelerations are altered in subjects with crouch gait

Katherine M. Steele, Ajay Seth, Jennifer L. Hicks, Michael H. Schwartz, Scott L. Delp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

The goals of this study were to determine if the muscle contributions to vertical and fore-aft acceleration of the mass center differ between crouch gait and unimpaired gait and if these muscle contributions change with crouch severity. Examining muscle contributions to mass center acceleration provides insight into the roles of individual muscles during gait and can provide guidance for treatment planning. We calculated vertical and fore-aft accelerations using musculoskeletal simulations of typically developing children and children with cerebral palsy and crouch gait. Analysis of these simulations revealed that during unimpaired gait the quadriceps produce large upward and backward accelerations during early stance, whereas the ankle plantarflexors produce large upward and forward accelerations later in stance. In contrast, during crouch gait, the quadriceps and ankle plantarflexors produce large, opposing fore-aft accelerations throughout stance. The quadriceps force required to accelerate the mass center upward was significantly larger in crouch gait than in unimpaired gait and increased with crouch severity. The gluteus medius accelerated the mass center upward during midstance in unimpaired gait; however, during crouch gait the upward acceleration produced by the gluteus medius was significantly reduced. During unimpaired gait the quadriceps and ankle plantarflexors accelerate the mass center at different times, efficiently modulating fore-aft accelerations. However, during crouch gait, the quadriceps and ankle plantarflexors produce fore-aft accelerations at the same time and the opposing fore-aft accelerations generated by these muscles contribute to the inefficiency of crouch gait.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-91
Number of pages6
JournalGait and Posture
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the staff of the James R. Gage Center for Gait and Motion Analysis at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare. This work was funded by NIH R01 HD033929 , R24 HD065690 , U54GM072970 , and an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship .

Keywords

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Crouch gait
  • Induced acceleration analysis
  • Muscle
  • Simulation

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