The Dynamics of Crouch Gait in Cerebral Palsy:
Using musculoskeletal simulation to examine pathologic gait patterns
Kat M. Steele
Departments of Bioengineering and Mechanical Engineering
Host: Boris I. Prilutsky, PhD
Time: 10:00 - 11:00am
Location: Applied Physiology Building (555 14th Street NW), Room 1253
Crouch gait is a common gait pathology among individuals with cerebral palsy which is characterized by excessive hip and knee flexion. If left untreated, crouch gait can lead to joint pain, the formation of bone deformities, and an inability to walk independently. While the complexity of the musculoskeletal system hinders the design of effective treatments for crouch gait, musculoskeletal modeling and simulation provide powerful tools to investigate the complex causes and effects of crouch gait. In this talk, I will discuss how we have used musculoskeletal simulation to critically evaluate the dynamics of crouch gait using OpenSim, a freely-available software. I will elaborate on how individual muscles contribute to motion, how joint loads change during crouch gait, and how altered physiology, such as muscle weakness, can contribute to crouch gait. Quantifying these mechanisms in crouch gait can expand our understanding of the causes of crouch gait and create new treatment strategies. The tools and methods presented in this talk can be extended into many other research areas including rehabilitation, athletics, and orthopaedics.