High resolution muscle measurements provide insights into equinus contractures in patients with cerebral palsy

Margie A. Mathewson, Samuel R. Ward, Henry G. Chambers, Richard L. Lieber*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

Muscle contractures that occur after upper motor neuron lesion are often surgically released or lengthened. However, surgical manipulation of muscle length changes a muscle's sarcomere length (Ls), which can affect force production. To predict effects of surgery, both macro- (fascicle length (Lf)) and micro- (Ls) level structural measurements are needed. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to quantify both Ls and Lf in patients with cerebral palsy (CP) as well as typically developing (TD) children. Soleus ultrasound images were obtained from children with CP and TD children. Lf was determined and, with the joint in the same position, CP biopsies were obtained and formalin fixed, and Ls was measured by laser diffraction. Since soleus Ls values were not measurable in TD children, TD Ls values were obtained using three independent methods. While average Lf did not differ between groups (CP=3.6±1.2 cm, TD=3.5±0.9 cm; p>0.6), Ls was dramatically longer in children with CP (4.07±0.45mm vs. TD=2.17±0.24mm; p>0.0001). While Lf values were similar between children with CP and TD children, this was due to highly stretched sarcomeres within the soleus muscle. Surgical manipulation of muscle-Tendon unit length will thus alter muscle sarcomere length and change force generating capacity of the muscle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-39
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Keywords

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Fascicle length
  • Sarcomere
  • Skeletal muscle
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'High resolution muscle measurements provide insights into equinus contractures in patients with cerebral palsy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this