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Research on Children With Cerebral Palsy Induced
Spastic Hemiplegia (Hemiparesis)


Ultraflex provided braces to study patients participating in two research studies on spastic hemiplegia in children. The studies were conducted by researchers at the Christine M. Kleinert Institute for Hand and Micro Surgery in Louisville, KY.

Research Results Show Marked Improvements In Study Patients With Spastic Hemiplegia

Spastic hand

The efficacy of this treatment was studied both retrospectively and prospectively, documenting marked improvements in:

  1. limb posture
  2. deformity and
  3. function.

Retrospective Study -the study was designed after the fact, following years of treatment, to assess the effectiveness of custom bracing and neuromuscular electrical stimulation. The retrospective study looks back to see what the results were of the treatment protocol based on its study design. See Retrospective Study (PDF)

Prospective Study - this type of study is designed to assess treatment results of a pre-determined study protocol. See Prospective Study(PDF)

Retrospective Research Study:

"NEUROMUSCULAR ELECTRICAL STIMULATION AND DYNAMIC BRACING AS A TREATMENT FOR UPPER-EXTREMITY SPASTICITY IN CHILDREN WITH
CEREBRAL PALSY"

L.R. Scheker, S.P. Chesher and S. Ramirez
From the Christine M. Kleinert Institute for Hand and Micro Surgery
and the University of Louisville School of Medicine, Division of
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Louisville KY, USA

The retrospective study was published in the Journal of Hand Surgery (British and European Volume, 1999) 24B: 226 232.

Nineteen patients were treated in the retrospective study. Mean age of the children was ten years three months with ten boys and nine girls. All patients moved up one to three levels in Zancolli classification and showed a significant improvement in the quality of upper extremity function.

Treatment Regimen For Children In Both Research Studies On Spastic Hemiplegia

The treatment regimen consisted of two 30-minute therapy sessions daily using the dynamic/static bracing and neuromuscular electrical stimulation.

At night, patients wore the brace for a minimum of 6 hours. No stimulation was used during this time.

Improvements in reach, grasp, pinch were the most noticeable results of the research on children with spastic hemiplegia.

Prospective Research Study:

"EVALUATION OF COMBINED NEUROMUSCULAR ELECTRICAL STIMULATION AND DYNAMIC ORTHOTIC MANAGEMENT OF CHILDREN WITH HEMIPLEGIC SPASTIC CEREBRAL PALSY"

As presented at the American Academy of
Cerebral Palsy Developmental Medicine
on September 16, 1999
From the Christine M. Kleinert Institute for Hand and Micro Surgery
and the University of Louisville School of Medicine, Division of
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Louisville KY, USA

Santiago Ramirez, MD; Steve Chesher, CPTA, BOC; and Luis R. Scheker, MD

Jake using hand

Objective:

In a previous study, we showed that neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) combined with dynamic bracing is a safe and effective treatment of upper extremity spasticity in children with cerebral palsy.

The objective of this present study was to determine if the combined therapy of NMES and dynamic bracing is more effective than NMES or bracing alone.

Conclusions:

A more noticeable improvement in global hand function was observed in patients treated with the combined therapy of NMES and dynamic bracing than in patients treated with either NMES or dynamic bracing alone.

This non-invasive therapy could reduce the need for pharmacological injections and surgical procedures. More research is needed to determine the length of the effects of the therapy.

In Memoriam: Steve Chesher 1957 - 2000. Consummate professional, dedicated husband, father and friend.

To request the complete research studies on children with spastic hemiplegia.

To view a video on the treatment regimen or to see a video about one patient's improvements.

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