The aim of the study was to assess load surface with regard to muscle tone distribution of premature infants compared to full-term infants.
Material and methods
Twenty-four infants aged 3-6 months (adjusted age) were examined, including 12 premature infants (born before 37 weeks) and 12 full-term infants. The study was carried out at the Children's Memorial Health Institute in Warsaw in the period from January to June 2016. The study involved interviews with the infants' parents and examinations of infants in a supine and prone position performed on PodoBaby digital podoscope. Support surface, i.e. the loading on the left and right side of the body and the length of trunk sides were analysed. Statistical analysis was performed with the use of Statistica v.12 software and Student's t-test.
No significant differences between premature infants and full-term infants regarding the loading on the right side measured in a supine position were revealed (analogous lack of differences was noted on the left side and in a prone position). In a prone position, the correlation between support surface and the length of trunk sides was noted, i.e. the loaded side of the trunk was lengthened, while the unloaded side was shortened.
Considerable asymmetry of the loads of trunk sides was noted in premature infants, while in the case of full-term infants, the values of loads were close to symmetry. An examination with the use of PodoBaby podoscope may be applied in early diagnostics in pediatric rehabilitation.