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Contracture and Gait Deviations

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Handbook of Human Motion


Soft-tissue contracture is usually defined as a permanent shortening of the musculotendinous complex limiting the mobility of a joint. Contracture is mainly due to the consequences of joint immobilization and is one of the main causes of gait disorders. Different approaches have been used to evaluate the influence of contractures on gait, such as observational, experimental, simulation, and animal studies. The main effects of contracture can be summarized muscle by muscle: soleus contracture causes an ankle plantarflexion; gastrocnemius contracture causes a knee flexion and an ankle plantarflexion; hamstring contracture causes a knee flexion and an increased posterior pelvic tilt; psoas contracture causes a hip flexion and a specific knee flexion pattern. Identifying and understanding specific gait patterns associated with contractures support clinical gait analysis and therefore the management of patients with gait deviations. However, contractures are rarely isolated and are often combined with other clinical impairments, such as spasticity and weakness, making their interpretation complex. New approaches, such as advanced neuromusculoskeletal simulations and machine learning, are needed to improve knowledge on the relationships between impairments (including contractures) and gait deviations.

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Correspondence to Stéphane Armand .

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© 2019 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

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Armand, S., Attias, M. (2019). Contracture and Gait Deviations. In: Handbook of Human Motion. Springer, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-30808-1

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-30808-1

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