Ailish Malone, Dara Meldrum, Ciaran Bolger


January 2015, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 48 - 56 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-014-3267-1

First Online: 13 March 2014

Purpose

Gait impairment is an important feature of cervical sponydylotic myelopathy (CSM) as it can have a detrimental effect on function and quality of life. The aim of this study was to measure changes in gait in people with CSM following surgical decompression.

Methods

Thirteen participants with clinical and radiological evidence of CSM underwent three-dimensional gait analysis, using a full lower limb kinematic, kinetic and electromyography protocol, before and 12 months after decompressive surgery.

Results

No significant post-operative changes were detected in temporal–spatial or kinematic parameters. Kinetic data showed significant improvements in knee power absorption [mean improvement, 0.42 watts per kilogram (W/kg)], ankle plantarflexor moment (0.1 Nm/kg) and ankle power generation (0.55 W/kg). Electromyography showed a 4.7 % increase in tibialis anterior activation time.

Conclusions

These findings indicate that improvement in locomotor function can be achieved after surgery. Future studies should explore the potential for further recovery of gait through targeted neuro-rehabilitation.


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