Baclofen Therapy and Spinal Fusions

The current issue of Spine reports on a retrospective review indicating that intrathecal baclofen therapy (ITB) pumps can be implanted before, during or after spinal fusion surgery in children with cerebral palsy without increased risk of complications such as catheter malfunctions, infections and pump failures.

Reference:  Borowski, Andrzej MD ; Shah, Suken A. MD ; Littleton, Aaron G. BSc; Dabney, Kirk W. MD; Miller, Freeman MD  (2008) Baclofen Pump Implantation and Spinal Fusion in Children: Techniques and Complications Spine. 33(18):1995-2000, August 15, 2008.


Prader Willi Syndrome and Puzzles

In a  recent study, researchers analyzed individuals with Prader Willi ability to complete puzzles. The researchers determined that individuals with Prader-Willi Syndrome rely on piece shape rather than a picture focused strategy.   Individuals with Prader-Willi performed better on achromatic puzzles than the control group.  When a puzzles with pictures were used scores did not differ between the two groups.

Reference:  Brian N. Verdine, Georgene L. Troseth, Robert M. Hodapp, and Elisabeth M. Dykens (2008) Strategies and Correlates of Jigsaw Puzzle and Visuospatial Performance by Persons With Prader-Willi Syndrome American Journal on Mental Retardation: Vol. 113, No. 5, pp. 343–355.  doi: 10.1352/2008.113:342-355


Parent Training in Children with Disabilities

A recent study published in the American Journal of Mental Retardation, reports that parents of preschool aged children with developmental disabilities who participated in a 12 week Incredible Years Parent Training Program displayed superior results in reducing negative parent child interactions and behavior problems when compared to the control group who did not receive the parent training.

Reference:   McIntyre, Laura Lee (2008) Parent Training for Young Children With Developmental Disabilities: Randomized Controlled Trial American Journal on Mental Retardation: Vol. 113, No. 5, pp. 356–368.


Gait Patterns in Down’s Syndrome

The current issue of Gait and Posture reports on joint stiffness and gait patterns of 98 children (mean age 11.7 years old) with Down’s Syndrome.  The children with Down’s Syndrome exhibited the following gait patterns: increased hip flexion, knee flexion in stance phase, decreased knee range of motion and plantar flexion at initial contact and limited ankle power.  Hip joint stiffness was increased in the group of children with Down’s Syndrome.

Reference:  Manuela Galli, Chiara Rigoldi, Reinald Brunnerb, Naznin Virji-Babul and Albertini Giorgio (2008) Joint stiffness and gait pattern evaluation in children with Down syndrome.  Gait & Posture Volume 28, Issue 3, October 2008, Pages 502-506. doi:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2008.03.001


Shoulder Pain and Spina Bifada

Pediatric Physical Therapy published research stating that shoulder pain in adolescents and young adults is not as common of a complaint when compared to adults with spinal cord injuries.  The highest complaint of shoulder pain was while propelling a wheelchair up an incline.

Reference:  Roehrig, Susan PT, PhD; Like, Gayla MPT  (2008) Factors Affecting Shoulder Pain in Adolescents and Young Adults with Spina Bifida. Pediatric Physical Therapy. 20(3):224-232, Fall 2008


Exercise and Preterm Birth History

Pediatrics published a study reporting that 126 children (mean age 10 years old) with a preterm birth history (born at 27-34 weeks) displayed a significant impairment in exercise capacity as compared to full term peers in control group.

Reference:  Smith, Lucia Jane, van Asperen, Peter Paul, McKay, Karen Olwyn, Selvadurai, Hiran, Fitzgerald, Dominic Adam Reduced Exercise Capacity in Children Born Very Preterm Pediatrics 2008 122: e287-e293


Lower Limb Rotation in Children

Gait and Posture has published a recent study regarding lower limb rotation in children.  Over one thousand healthy children were clinically evaluated.  The following results were found:

  1. There was a significant difference in femoral anteversion between males and females with females
    having increased femoral anteversion that correlated with age
  2. There was no difference between the right and left sides of femoral anteversion
  3. There was no significant difference between males and females for tibial torsion.
  4. There was no significant difference between the right and left side for tibial torsion.

Reference:  Michel Jacquemier, Yann Glard, Vincent Pomero, Elke Viehweger, Jean-Luc Jouve and Gérard Bollini (2008) Rotational profile of the lower limb in 1319 healthy children.  Gait and Posture 28(2): 187-193.  Retreived on 8/5/08 from doi:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2007.11.011