Foot–Ground Interaction during Standing in Individuals with Down Syndrome: a Longitudinal Retrospective Study

Manuela Galli, Veronica Cimolin, Claudia Condoluci, Massimiliano Pau, Bruno Leban, Giorgio Albertini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In individuals with Down syndrome (DS) hypotonia and ligament laxity are characteristic features, which contribute to a number of orthopaedic issues, such as flat foot. The aim of this study was to quantify foot abnormalities in individuals with DS while standing, in terms of foot-ground interaction parameters (i.e. contact areas and plantar pressure distribution), from childhood to adulthood. Thirteen participants with DS were assessed using pedobarography in a time range of 17 years, from childhood to adulthood, and compared with healthy participants. Individuals with DS exhibited increases in all the sub-regions between childhood and adolescence, with significant reductions at an adult age. As for contact pressures, in healthy individuals changes in adolescence and adulthood were detected for all regions; in individuals with DS, significant increases in forefoot and rearfoot were observed only at adulthood. The pressures were systematically higher in healthy controls at all ages in rearfoot and in adolescence at forefoot, while individuals with DS exhibited higher pressure values in midfoot at childhood and adolescence. As one of the primary causes of flatfoot in DS is the presence of hypotonia and ligamentous laxity, which seem to persist especially in teens, it appears important to plan, starting from childhood, a specific rehabilitative program.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Sep 24 2016


  • Down syndrome
  • Foot
  • Pressure distribution
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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