The effect of walking speed on hamstrings length and lengthening velocity in children with spastic cerebral palsy

M.M. van der Krogt, C.A.M. Doorenbosch, J. Harlaar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Children with cerebral palsy often walk with reduced knee extension in terminal swing, which can be associated with short length or slow lengthening velocity of hamstrings muscles during gait. This study investigated the role of two factors that may contribute to such short and slow hamstrings: walking speed and spasticity. 17 children with spastic cerebral palsy and 11 matched typically developing children walked at comfortable, slow, and fast walking speed. Semitendinosus muscle-tendon length and velocity during gait were calculated using musculoskeletal modeling. Spasticity of the hamstrings was tested in physical examination. Peak hamstrings length increased only slightly with walking speed, while peak hamstrings lengthening velocity increased strongly. After controlling for these effects of walking speed, spastic hamstrings acted at considerably shorter length and slower velocity during gait than normal, while non-spastic hamstrings did not (all P
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)640-644
JournalGait and Posture
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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