Medical College of Wisconsin
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Upper extremity dynamics during Lofstrand crutch-assisted gait in children with myelomeningocele. J Spinal Cord Med 2007;30 Suppl 1:S165-71 PMID: 17874703 PMCID: PMC2031971

Pubmed ID



BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: We present a 3-dimensional biomechanical model of the upper extremities to characterize joint dynamics during 2 patterns of Lofstrand crutch-assisted gait in children with myelomeningocele. The upper extremity model incorporates recommendations by the International Society of Biomechanics.

METHODS: A Vicon motion analysis system (14 cameras) captured the marker patterns. Instrumented crutches measured reaction forces. Five subjects with L3 or L4 level myelodysplasia (aged 9.8 +/- 1.6 years) were analyzed during reciprocal and swing-through Lofstrand crutch-assisted gait.

RESULTS: The mean walking speed, cadence, and stride length were greatest during swing-through gait. Although the gait patterns had different morphologies, the thorax and elbows remained in flexion, the wrists remained in extension, and the shoulders demonstrated both flexion and extension throughout the gait cycles. Swing-through gait showed larger ranges of motion for all joints than reciprocal gait. Peak crutch forces were highest during swing-through gait. The model was effective in detecting significant differences in upper extremity joint dynamics between reciprocal and swing-through crutch-assisted gait in children with myelomeningocele.

CONCLUSIONS: Results support continued testing. Future work should include clinical and functional assessment in a correlated study of dynamics and function. Knowledge from the study may be useful in treatment planning and intervention.

Author List

Slavens BA, Frantz J, Sturm PF, Harris GF


Brooke Slavens BS,MS,PhD Assistant Professor in the Occupational Science & Technology department at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee


2-s2.0-34548269056   17 Citations

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Biomechanical Phenomena
Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted
Functional Laterality
Upper Extremity
jenkins-FCD Prod-300 626508253d14e4184314fb9f66322a03a5906796