Bilateral foot orthoses elicit changes in gait kinematics of adolescents with down syndrome with flatfoot

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Background: Subjects with Down Syndrome (DS) are characterized by specific physiological alterations, including musculoskeletal abnormalities. Flat Foot (FF), caused by hypotonia and ligament laxity, represents one of the most common disabling disorders in this population. Conservative treatments promote the use of orthopaedic insoles and plantar supports. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of Foot Orthoses (FOs) on the gait pattern of subjects with DS, assessing the biomechanical effects associated with their use. Methods: Twenty-nine subjects were screened under two conditions—walking barefoot (WB); with shoes and insoles (WSI), during three trials for each. Assessments were performed through the 3D gait analysis, using an optoelectronic system, force platforms, and video recording. Specifically, synthetic indices of gait kinematics, i.e., gait profile score (GPS) and gait variable score (GVS) were calculated and compared with Wilcoxon signed-rank test, to evaluate between-conditions. Results: Significant variations were found in GVS foot progression index, representative of foot rotation during walking, in adolescents only. Conclusions: Bilateral FOs has a positive immediate impact on gait quality in adolescents with DS, as confirmed by quantitative analysis. FOs prescription is an evidence-based early approach to slow down biomechanical abnormalities and prevent relative symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4994
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2 2020


  • Down syndrome
  • Flat foot
  • Foot progression
  • Gait analysis
  • GPS
  • GVS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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