Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Physical Therapy (M.S.)

Degree Program

Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Gordon Alderink

Second Advisor

Cathy Harro

Third Advisor

Brock Horsley


Computerized three-dimensional gait analysis effectively supplements clinical examination by objectively assessing dynamic gait abnormalities and surgical outcomes. The purpose of this research was to assess the ambulatory outcomes of corrective surgery performed on children with spastic cerebral palsy by comparing pre- and post-operative kinematic data. It was hypothesized that post-operative data would be significantly improved compared to pre-operative values. Clinical examination and computerized gait analysis were performed pre-operatively and six to eighteen months following corrective surgery. Gait analysis included video taping of gait and recording of three-dimensional joint motion, synchronized force plate, and dynamic EMG data. The three patients (average age = 10 years 2 months) studied received multiple soft tissue procedures, including a rectus femoris transfer (n = 5 limbs). Multiple kinematic variables were analyzed at the hip, knee, and ankle. Significant improvements occurred in total hip ROM, stride length, minimum knee flexion in stance, rate of peak knee flexion in swing, ankle dorsiflexion at initial contact, and ankle dorsiflexion in stance resulting in a smoother gait. Computerized gait analysis effectively assisted surgical decision making and objectively assessed treatment outcomes.


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