Date of Award

Fall 2006

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Harris, Gerald F.

Second Advisor

Ackman, Jeffrey

Third Advisor

McGuire, John


Background. Posterior walkers are the most commonly prescribed walker for children with cerebral palsy (CP). This is due to re belief that posterior walkers create a more upright posture as children ambulate. However, no quantitative data support this theory. The goal of this research is to quantify and study the kinematics of upper extremity motion in the ab/adduction, flexion/extension and internal/external in directions of 10 children with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy. Methods. Ten subjects (average age of 12.5 (SD 3.9)) with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy were randomly selected. All subjects had used posterior walkers for a minimum of one month. Each subject was fitted with an appropriately sized laboratory walker. During data collection, subjects were fitted with markers on their upper and lower extremities. A minimum of five motion trials were collected for each subject. Subject data were averaged to form characteristic curves representing the entire population. Analyses of these characteristic curves, asymmetry, temprospatial and energy expenditure parameters were completed Findings. Side-to-side torso sway was noted consistently in the tested group. Subjects also exhibited anterior torso tilt and torso rotation. Shoulder joints were abducted, extended, and internally rotated. Elbow joints were flexed and pronated. Wrist joints were ulnar deviated and extended...



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