The effect of injections of botulinum toxin type A combined with casting on the equinus gait of children with cerebral palsy

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of adding inhibitory casting to the treatment of young children with cerebral palsy who received injections of botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT-A) to gastrocnemius for equinus gait. Of the 20 patients in the series, 11 in group A had inhibitory casts applied on the day of the first set of BoNT-A injections and nine in group B did not have casting. Both groups received another BoNT-A injection four months later. The patients were followed for eight months and examined at five intervals.  Both groups showed significant improvement in gait parameters and function (p < 0.0001) and selective motor control (p = 0.041, – 0.036) throughout the study. Group A had significantly better passive dorsiflexion of the ankle (p = 0.029), observational gait score (p = 0.006) and selective motor control (p = 0.036). The authors conclude that the addition of inhibitory casting enhances and prolongs the results of treatment and mainly influences the passive range of movement, while BoNT-A mostly influences the dynamic motion. The second injection further improved the results of most parameters. The gross motor function measure, the selective motor control test and the modified Tardieu scale correlated well with the results of treatment.

This study recommends the use of inhibitory casting whenever augmentation of the effect of treatment with BoNT-A is needed.

Hayek, S., Gershon, A., Wientroub, S., Yizhar, Z., Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery – British Volume, Vol 92-B, Issue 8, 1152-1159. ce