Upper body movement during walking in children with lumbo-sacral myelomeningocele


Eight children with lumbo-sacral myelomeningocele (MMC) underwent three-dimensional movement analysis to determine whether or not differing levels of lower extremity strength affected the extent of shoulder, trunk and pelvis movement during independent walking when wearing orthoses. Fourteen control children were also investigated. The patterns of upper body movements in all MMC children were well defined and consistent, showing small standard deviations from the mean. In the frontal and transverse planes, segment displacements of the MMC children assigned into Group II (hip extensor and abductor muscle strength grade 0-2) were almost twice that of the MMC children in Group I (hip extensor and abductor muscle strength grade 3-4). All segment displacements in the frontal, transverse and sagittal planes for Group I and Group II children were significantly greater than those for the controls. In the frontal plane these differences were approximately 4-10 times greater, with the Group II children having the largest peak-to-peak displacements. These results indicate that the motion amplitudes of the upper body segments are related to the degree of muscle weakness of the lower limbs. No significant differences were found when comparing segment motions during walking with either the Ferrari type knee-ankle-foot or ankle-foot orthoses.


Physical Therapy

Document Type





Gait, Locomotion, MMC, Movement analysis, Orthoses, Trunk

Publication Date


Journal Title

Gait and Posture