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Neuroscience Journal
Volume 2015, Article ID 872015, 7 pages
Research Article

Do Three Different Passive Assessments of Quadriceps Spasticity Relate to the Functional Activity of Walking for Children Diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy?

1Motion Analysis Laboratory, Shriners Hospital for Children, Lexington, KY 40502, USA
2Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536, USA

Received 18 June 2015; Revised 3 August 2015; Accepted 21 September 2015

Academic Editor: Elisabeth Ronne-Engstrom

Copyright © 2015 Hank White et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A stiff-knee gait pattern is frequently associated with several impairments including quadriceps spasticity in children diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP). The relationship of clinical measures of quadriceps spasticity and the stiff-knee gait pattern in children diagnosed with CP has not been well established. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the ability of clinical measures of quadriceps spasticity (modified Ashworth scale [MAS], Ely tests, and pendulum test) to categorize a stiff-knee gait pattern in children with CP. Children were categorized as having a stiff-knee gait pattern based on kinematic and EMG gait data. Results of a logistic regression model revealed that the only significant measure was A1 of the pendulum test. Discriminant analysis functions were used to predict group membership (stiff-knee, not stiff-knee gait pattern) for each measure. The A1 of the pendulum test demonstrated the highest classification accuracy and the highest sensitivity compared to the other measures. Therefore, a negative pendulum test (indicated by an A1 value of 45 degrees or more) is more useful for ruling out a stiff-knee gait pattern compared to the other clinical measures.