OBJECTIVE: To study the effect of active stretching of ankle plantarflexors using an interactive dynamic stander in children with cerebral palsy (CP).
METHODS: Six children in Gross Motor Function Classification System classes I-III, aged 4-10 years, trained intensive active dorsiflexion in an interactive dynamic stander using ankle movement to play custom computer games following a 10-week control period. Gross Motor Function Measure Item Set, gait performance and passive and active dorsiflexion with extended and flexed knee were chosen as outcome parameters.
RESULTS: Median active and passive ankle dorsiflexion increased significantly (5 and 10 degrees, respectively) with extended knee. There was a small but clinically significant increase in gross motor function. The intervention had no effect on temporospatial gait parameters.
CONCLUSION: In spite of the low number of participants, these results may indicate that intensive active stretching in an interactive dynamic stander could be an effective new conservative clinical treatment of ankle plantarflexor contracture in children with CP.