Comparison of gait between an individual with cerebral palsy and an unaffected individual is important because it informs the public what cerebral palsy consists of and the effects it has on the motions involved in gait. Cerebral Palsy is a condition caused by damage to the brain, which is characterized by the inability to control motor function. For the last ten years, the treatment of cerebral palsy has changed drastically due to the use of gait analysis and research, which enhanced the aspects of orthopedic surgery and physical therapy (Gage, 1993). Since the time of E. Muybridge, the method of gait analysis has improved dramatically through the technological advances such as the use of CODA-3, an opto-electronic scanner, which is a tool used in analysis (O'Byrne et al., 1998). By examining diverse components involved in gait, such as muscle length, relationship between EMG levels, and motor output, the groundwork for comprehending this disease was established (Crenna, 1998). The understanding of the anatomy and biomechanics, as well as the incorporation of the use of technology, has improved the knowledge of cerebral palsy in areas such as muscle response, stability in various phases of movements, and in energy conservation (Gage, 1993).
Our purpose in this project is to examine the biomechanics involved in a gait cycle between an individual with spastic cerebral palsy and an individual who is apparently healthy, by comparing the differences in the knee and hip movements. We also want to determine if the atypical gait would be a cause for other impairments that may arise later in life. The interest in the study of cerebral palsy and related movements stemmed from the apparent differences in the gait cycles between these two individuals.