Leg extensor muscle voluntary isometric force production capacity in children with spastic diplegia

  • Mati Pääsuke Institute of Exercise Biology and Physiotherapy, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
  • Krista Kuresson Institute of Exercise Biology and Physiotherapy, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
  • Helena Gapeyeva Institute of Exercise Biology and Physiotherapy, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
  • Jaan Ereline Institute of Exercise Biology and Physiotherapy, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
  • Tatjana Kums Institute of Exercise Biology and Physiotherapy, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
  • Herje Aibast Institute of Exercise Biology and Physiotherapy, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
Keywords: muscle force, bilateral strength deficit, cerebral palsy, children

Abstract

The aim of this study was to compare the isometric force production capacity of the leg extensor muscles in 9–12-year-old children with spastic diplegia (SD; 11 girls and 10 boys) and age- and gendermatched nondisabled children (11 girls and 10 boys). Isometric maximal voluntary contraction force of the leg extensor muscles was measured during unilateral and bilateral contractions (leg press exercise) using custom-made dynamometric chair. Children with SD had significantly (p<0.05) lower isometric maximal force during bilateral and unilateral contractions compared with healthy children. Bilateral strength deficit did not differ significantly in children with and without SD. No significant correlations between isometric force characteristics of the leg extensor muscles and anthropometric parameters were observed in children with SD. These results indicated that in children with SD, isometric voluntary force-generating capacity of the leg extensor muscles during bilateral and unilateral contractions is markedly reduced, whereas bilateral strength deficit is not differ compared with age- and gender-matched healthy children.
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