The effect of foot orthoses on standing foot posture and gait of young children with Down syndrome.
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The purpose of this study was to determine if foot orthoses (FOs) immediately affected gait of children with Down Syndrome (DS) and excessively pronated feet. Subjects were 3--6 years old; 16 with DS and 10 without disabilities. Gait of children with DS wearing sneakers was compared with and without FOs and compared to gait of children without disabilities. Ankle moment, walking speed during stance phase, sneaker prints, center of pressure, and transverse plane foot angles were collected and compared. In standing, heel eversion was reduced when the children wore FOs (p=0.000). During gait the transverse plane foot angle decreased indicating more internal rotation with FOs (p=0.000). Trial-to-trial variability of pronation-supination index (p=0.0001), foot length contact (p=0.0001), transverse plane foot angle (p=0.0003), and walking speed (p=0.0001) all decreased with FO use. Trial-to-trial variability of normalized peak ankle moment (p=0.0001), and of phase of peak ankle moment (p=0.0001) increased when the children wore FOs.
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