Objective: To examine the immediate effect of treadmill walking (i.e. enforced walking at a fixed gait velocity) on gait variability among children post-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and typically-developing (TD) age-matched controls. Methods: Twelve boys post-severe TBI and 18 TD boys participated in this study. Ages were 7-13 years. Step time and length variability were assessed by an electronic walkway prior to and after treadmill walking for 6 minutes. Results: Significantly reduced walking velocity and step length, with significantly increased step length variability were noted among children post-TBI compared to the TD subjects when walking on level ground prior to the treadmill. Treadmill walking reduced step length variability in TD children, while there was a slight increase in variability in children post-TBI (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Walking on a treadmill at a fixed gait velocity has a different effect on boys post-severe TBI and TD controls.
- Step variability
- Traumatic brain injury