New evidence summary: FES to improve gait in children with cerebral palsy

Our latest evidence summary reviews the evidence on whether Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) is effective for improving the gait (walking pattern) of children with cerebral palsy. 

Key findings:

  • Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) is a way to stimulate nerves to make specific muscles contract during a particular activity such as walking.
  • Most research has focused on using FES to help the foot clear the ground when walking. 
  • FES is only appropriate for children with an adequate range of motion to alter their walking pattern.
  • There is limited evidence that FES improved walking patterns in some children with cerebral palsy. However, it is unclear whether FES is more or less effective than other treatment options.
  • FES is generally well-tolerated, but it can be uncomfortable or burdensome to some children.
  • More research is needed to determine the effectiveness of FES for children with cerebral palsy.
  • An assessment and a chance to try a device in a specialist clinic can help to determine if it is likely to help.

You can read our evidence summary here: FES Cerebral Palsy

Parent carers from our Family Faculty and clinical experts in the field contributed to this summary. 

 

 

 

 

 

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