Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Thomas Mohr


Biomechanics; Gait; Orthotic Devices


Gait deviations are a common problem associated with disorders of movement and posture such as cerebral palsy (CP). Inhibitive casts and ankle-foot orthoses have been used to treat gait deviations in children with CP, but they have not satisfied the needs of children who are able to achieve active dorsiflexion and plantarflexion but lack stability at the subtalar joint. Supramalleolar orthoses (SMOs) were developed to address that need. SMOs, along with physical therapy, have been used to treat children with CP, but little research has been conducted to determine the actual effects of the SMO on lower extremity biomechanics during gait. The purpose of this study was to describe the biomechanical changes that occur at the knee, foot, and ankle as a single-subject walked barefoot, with shoes, and with shoes and SMOs. It was hoped that while walking with shoes and SMOs, the subject's gait pattern could be documented as more similar to normal arnbulation patterns.

The subject walked on a treadmill while he was videotaped, and measurements of joint range of motion and bony alignment were taken from video photographs. From this data, it was determined that although utilization of SMOs did not produce a normal gait pattern, they did effectively control medial and lateral movement at the subtalar joint while normalizing tone.