In children with spastic diplegia, hip extension in terminal stance is limited by retraction of the psoas muscle, which decreases stride propulsion and step length on the contralateral side. Whether intramuscular psoas lengthening (IMPL) is effective remains controversial. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of IMPL as a component of single-event multi-level surgery (SEMLS) on spatial and temporal gait parameters, clinical hip flexion deformity, and hip flexion kinematics.
IMPL as part of SEMLS does not significantly improve hip flexion kinematics.
Materials and methods
A retrospective review was conducted of the medical charts of consecutive ambulatory children with cerebral palsy who had clinical hip flexion deformity (>10°) with more than 10° of excess hip flexion in terminal stance and who underwent SEMLS. The groups with and without IMPL were compared. Preoperative values of the clinical hip flexion contracture, hip flexion kinematics in terminal stance, and spatial and temporal gait parameters were compared to the values recorded after a mean postoperative follow-up of 2.4±2.0 years (range, 1.0–8.7 years). Follow-up was longer than 3 years in 6 patients.
Of 47 lower limbs (in 34 patients) included in the analysis, 15 were managed with IMPL. There were no significant between-group differences at baseline. Surgery was followed in all limbs by significant decreases in kinematic hip flexion and in the Gillette Gait Index. In the IMPL group, significant improvements occurred in clinical hip flexion deformity, walking speed, and step length. The improvement in kinematic hip extension was not significantly different between the two groups. Crouch gait recurred in 3 (8%) patients.
The improvement in kinematic hip extension in terminal stance was not significantly influenced by IMPL but was, instead, chiefly dependent on improved knee extension and on the position of the ground reaction vector after SEMLS. IMPL remains indicated only when the clinical hip flexion deformity exceeds 20°.
Level of evidence
IV, retrospective study.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Psoas lengthening, Hip flexor contracture, Cerebral palsy, Quantitative gait analysis