The contralateral unimpaired arm as a control for upper extremity kinematic analysis in children with brachial plexus birth palsy

Jonathan S. Wang, Kyria Petuskey, Anita M. Bagley, Michelle James, George T Rab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Kinematic studies of abnormal upper extremity (UE) motion provide the unique and valuable perspective of motion analysis during simulated functional tasks. However, they require comparison with healthy control data. Obtaining this control data usually entails testing a healthy population, which can be costly and time consuming, requiring separate subject inclusion criteria, recruitment, and institutional review board approval. The kinematics of the unimpaired UE in people with unilateral impairment have not been analyzed and documented. The purpose of this study was to compare UE motion during activities of daily living in the contralateral unimpaired arm of subjects with brachial plexus birth palsy (BPBP) with an age-matched control population. METHODS: The contralateral arms of 40 subjects with unilateral BPBP were compared with the arms of 15 healthy subjects using an established 3-dimensional upper extremity motion analysis protocol. RESULTS: There were no significant differences between the 2 arms on 17 of 19 motion parameters. The 2 differences that were statistically significant (P < 0.05) were not clinically meaningful. CONCLUSIONS: The contralateral arms of children with unilateral BPBP can be used as controls for future upper extremity motion analysis studies of this population, and further recruitment of age-matched controls is not necessary for comparison with 5- to 8-year-old children with BPBP. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: This is a retrospective study, investigating whether the contralateral unimpaired arm can be used as a control for upper extremity kinematic analysis in children with BPBP, with a level 2 evidence rating.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)709-711
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
Volume27
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2007

Keywords

  • 3-D kinematics
  • Brachial plexus birth palsy
  • Contralateral arm
  • Motion analysis
  • Upper extremity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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