Injection of botulinum A toxin into the gastrocnemius muscle of patients with cerebral palsy: A 3-dimensional motion analysis study

David H. Sutherland, Kenton R. Kaufman, Marilynn P. Wyatt, Henry G. Chambers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Botulinum A toxin (BOTOX®) was injected into the gastrocnemius muscle of 26 cerebral palsy subjects with equinus gait. All subjects were equinus walkers without fixed contracture of the triceps-surae muscle. Injections were performed at 3 month intervals, if needed, as determined by the treating clinician. There were 14 subjects with spastic hemiplegia, 11 subjects with spastic diplegia and 1 subject with spastic quadriplegia. In the case of those subjects with bilateral equinus gait the dose was divided and given into both the right and left gastrocnemius muscle. Gait analysis data was collected prior to the first injection and subsequently at 3 month intervals for 1 year. Kinematic and electromyographic data was obtained. This data was analyzed to provide objective information about the outcome of treatment. Four subjects moved away and were lost to follow-up. Seven subjects left the study to have surgery. The data collected revealed statistically significant improvements in dynamic ankle dorsiflexion in both stance and swing phases, stride length, and electromyography of the tibialis anterior. There were no complications. While the results of this study are promising, additional prospective studies are needed to determine the feasibility of preventing muscle contractures over a longer time period. Furthermore, there is a need for inclusion of other muscles in future research. Future research should also compare BOTOX® treatment with alternative methods of dealing with muscle spasticity such as: casting, orthotic devices, physical therapy, selective dorsal rhizotomy, and surgical lengthening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-279
Number of pages11
JournalGait and Posture
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1996


  • Botulinum A toxin
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Equinus
  • Gait analysis
  • Gastrocnemius

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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