Hamstring length in crouch gait

George T Rab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A common abnormality in cerebral palsy patients is crouch gait. The etiology of crouch has been the source of speculation, and includes excessive iliopsoas or hamstring spasticity. However, with modern 3-dimensional gait analysis it has become clear that not all patients with crouch gait have the same abnormalities, and not all will have favorable outcomes with the same surgery. Hamstring excursion was determined during crouch gait, using 3-D kinematic data and a model of muscle origins and insertions. When the variation in muscle length is correlated with dynamic EMG, distinct patterns of hamstring function emerge. The normal hamstring is a decelerator muscle, exhibiting eccentric contraction only; however, some patients with cerebral palsy exhibit prolonged concentric contraction during the entire stance phase of gait, so that the hamstrings are doing mechanical work to extend the hip. In these patients, a different surgical approach is warranted to preserve hip extension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1072
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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