Extracorporeal shock wave therapy for the treatment of poststroke plantar-flexor muscles spasticity: a prospective open-label study.

Andrea Santamato, Maria Francesca Micello, Francesco Panza, Francesca Fortunato, Giancarlo Logroscino, Alessandro Picelli, Paolo Manganotti, Nicola Smania, Pietro Fiore, Maurizio Ranieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To assess the use of extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) for the treatment of equinus foot after stroke and to correlate the ESWT effect on spastic plantar-flexor muscles with echo intensity on the Heckmatt scale. The prospective open-label study examined 23 patients with poststroke lower limb spasticity. Adults with spastic equinus foot after stroke received one ESWT session on hypertonic plantar-flexor muscles. The effect on spasticity, degree of passive ankle dorsiflexion, and neurophysiological values were evaluated. Before treatment, participants underwent a sonography evaluation of calf muscles to identify echo intensity on the Heckmatt scale. Immediately after the session, ESWT induced a statistically significant reduction in muscle tone, increasing passive ankle dorsiflexion motion. At 30 days of follow-up, the effect persisted only in patients with echo intensity of spastic plantar-flexor muscles graded I, II, or III on the Heckmatt scale without any action related to spinal excitability. Mild adverse events were reported after the treatment but were resolved in a few days. ESWT is safe and efficacious for the treatment of poststroke plantar-flexor muscles spasticity, reducing muscle tone and improving passive ankle dorsiflexion motion. The effect was long lasting in subjects with echo intensity of calf muscles graded I, II, or III but was brief for echo intensity graded IV on the Heckmatt scale. The ESWT effect did not appear to be related to spinal excitability.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTopics in Stroke Rehabilitation
Volume21 Suppl 1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Community and Home Care

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