Foot and body posture contribute to gait and balance disorder in children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), according to a new study published in the Irish Journal of Medical Science

These findings suggest that monitoring foot structure and the alignment of different body parts early in the disease course could help introduce necessary interventions to improve patients’ gait and balance.

The effect of foot and body posture on gait and balance in DMD has never been described before.


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The present study recruited 38 patients with DMD who could still walk and had more than  90° range of motion at their ankle joint. Patients were between 6 and 10 years of age.

The results showed that scores on the Foot Posture Index (FPI-6), a scale used to evaluate foot and body posture, correlated with parameters such as gait speed, ambulation time, number of steps, and right and left stride lengths. 

The researchers also found a relationship between the FPI-6 score of the right foot and anterior-posterior limits of stability. 

Scores on the New York Posture Rating scale, another scale used to evaluate foot and body posture, correlated with postural control parameters such as left and right base of support and anterior-posterior limit of stability.

“The current findings indicate a contribution of foot and body posture to gait and balance disorders of children with DMD,” the researchers concluded. They added that additional research is necessary to include patients with more severe foot and body posture impairments and explore their impact on gait and balance.

DMD is a type of muscular dystrophy caused by a mutation in the DMD gene and characterized by progressive muscle weakness and wasting. Because the DMD gene is situated on the X chromosome, the disease mostly affects boys who gradually lose their strength and ability to move.

Reference

Aydın Yağcıoğlu G, Yılmaz Ö, Alemdaroğlu Gürbüz İ, et al. Examination of the relationship between foot-body posture and balance and gait in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Ir J Med Sci. Published online October 7, 2022. doi:10.1007/s11845-022-03178-5