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The muscle shortening manoeuvre: Applicability and preliminary evaluation in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy: A retrospective analysis

Diego Longo, Marco Lombardi, Paolo Lippi, Daniela Melchiorre, Maria Angela Bagni, Francesco Ferrarello
Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Italy.
DOI: 10.2340/20030711-1000062

Abstract

Introduction: Physiotherapy plays a key role in cerebral palsy rehabilitation, through addressing body function/structure deficits, minimizing activity limitations, and encouraging participation. The muscle shortening manoeuvre is an innovative therapeutic technique, characterized by the ability to induce changes in muscle strength in a short time.
Objective: To describe the applicability and estimate the effect of the muscle shortening manoeuvre applied to improve motor weakness and joint excursion of the ankle in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy.
Methods: Nine children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy received 3 intervention sessions in one week. Muscle strength, passive and active range of motion were assessed before, during and after the training, and at 1-week follow-up.
Results: The children experienced an immediate increase in muscle strength and joint excursion of the ankle; the improvements were still present at follow-up after 7 days.
Conclusion: The muscle shortening manoeuvre may be an effective intervention to induce an immediate increase in muscle strength and range of motion of the ankle in children affected by hemiplegia due to cerebral palsy, thus promoting better physical functioning.

Lay Abstract

The muscle shortening manoeuvre is a continuous passive motion therapy, which has 2 components; muscle shortening and solicitation in traction. The intervention is administered by a physiotherapist and is characterized by the ability to induce changes in muscle strength in a short time. This report describes the applicability and the effect of the manoeuvre when applied to improve motor weakness and joint excursion of the ankle in children affected by hemiplegia due to cerebral palsy. Nine children received 3 intervention sessions in one week. Muscle strength, and range of motion were monitored. The children experienced an increase in muscle strength and joint excursion of the ankle. The muscle shortening manoeuvre appears to be suitable for use in children affected by hemiplegia due to cerebral palsy. Further research is needed to verify the effectiveness of the manoeuvre in promoting better physical functioning in these patients.

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