The effect of foot orthoses on postural stability and gait of severe mental handicapped children with flexible flat feet

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The effect of foot orthoses on postural stability and gait of severe mental handicapped children with flexible flat feet

 

Author: Chan, Hiu-nam
Title: The effect of foot orthoses on postural stability and gait of severe mental handicapped children with flexible flat feet
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2010
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Foot -- Abnormalities -- Treatment
Flatfoot -- Treatment
Children with mental disabilities -- Care -- China -- Hong Kong
Department: Dept. of Health Technology and Informatics
Pages: x, 60 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2352683
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/5612
Abstract: Flexible flat feet is one of the commonest lower limb problems in children. It affects the biomechanics of lower limb and may result in plantar fascilitis, knee pain and other orthopaedics problems. Also, their physical functions, including balance and gait, were worse than that in normal subjects. Some severe mental handicapped (SMH) children have flexible flat feet. They also have poor balance and slower walking speed. However, they are often not treated as they are regarded as "asymptomatic". In this project, 10 SMH children, aged 6-15 years old with flexible flat feet were given a pair of moldable foot orthoses for 3 months. The postural stability and gait parameters of the children were assessed before the use of orthoses and after 2 weeks, 4 weeks and 12 weeks. For postural stability, the sway path length and mean sway amplitude were calculated by the Center of Pressure (CoP) data obtained with electronic pedobarograph (Tekscan). Temporal-distance gait analysis was done by video-taping the subjects performing 6-meters walk test. The step length, cadence and walking speed of the subjects were calculated. Their functional gait performance would be assessed by Functional Assessment Questionnaire (FAQ). After the 3-month usage of orthoses, the improvement in sway path length, mean sway amplitude and step length were not statistically significant (p=0.06, 0.22 and 0.054) while the improvement in cadence and walking speed were found to be statistically significant (p=0.01, p=0.03). There was no significant difference in Functional Assessment Questionnaire (FAQ) (p=0.16). This project revealed that about three-month use of foot orthoses is not effective in improving the postural stability but it could improve the cadence and walking speed in the gait of SMH children with flexible flat feet. Further research may focus on the long-term effect of foot orthoses.

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