Post-stroke lower limb spasticity impairs balance and gait leading to reduced walking speed, often increasing wheelchair use and caregiver burden. Several studies have shown that appropriate treatments for lower limb spasticity after stroke include injections of botulinum toxin type A (BoNT-A), phenol or alcohol, surgical correction and a rehabilitation program. In the present article, we review the safety and effectiveness of BoNT-A for the treatment of lower limb spasticity after stroke, with a focus on higher doses of BoNT-A. The cumulative body of evidence coming from the randomized clinical trials and open-label studies selected in the article suggest BoNT-A to be safe and efficacious in reducing lower limb spasticity after stroke. Studies of high doses of BoNT-A also showed a greater reduction of severe post-stroke spasticity. In stroke survivors with spasticity of the ankle plantar-flexor muscles, a combined approach between surgery and BoNT-A can be indicated. However, controversy remains about improvement in motor function relative to post-stroke spasticity reduction after BoNT-A treatment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)