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Motion Analysis Helps Teen With Cerebral Palsy Regain Ability to Walk

Newswise At fourteen, cerebral palsy hampered Anthonys ability to walk. He and his mother feared that within the next few years , he would be confined to a wheelchair.

As is the case with more than 500,000 Americans with this crippling disorder, Anthony was left with few options and his family turned to Hospital for Special Surgery with the hope of finding answers to effectively address his condition.

They were introduced to David M. Scher, M.D., a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Special Surgery, who also serves as co-medical director of the Leon Root, M.D. Motion Analysis Laboratory at the hospital. Dr. Scher believed that motion analysis could be used as an additional imaging tool to figure out the best approach to surgery to prevent Anthony from losing his ability to walk.

We evaluated Anthonys functional limitations during walking, a process known as gait analysis, said Dr. Scher. We discovered Anthony had severe deformities, specifically in his knee that prevented his ability to walk and the analysis allowed our team to quantify some of the problems with his gait that we saw qualitatively.

Dr. Scher values motion analysis as both a diagnostic as well as a monitoring tool since it allows clinicians to objectively measure the gains that are achieved following proper medical or surgical intervention.

With the help of gait analysis, Dr. Scher determined which surgical approach was the best option. The surgery entailed cutting the end of the thigh bones to straighten the legs and moving the patellar tendon further down the leg to give it more leverage. Next, Dr. Scher cut the right heel bone to move it in line with his leg and fused a deformed joint in the foot at the bottom of the big toe that prevented Anthony from being able to push off with each step.

Now 16, Anthonys ability to walk efficiently has been restored. Whats more, Anthony can expect that he will maintain the ability
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