Quantitative evaluations of ankle spasticity and stiffness in neurological disorders using manual spasticity evaluator

Qiyu Peng, Hyung Soon Park, Parag Shah, Nicole Wilson, Yupeng Ren, Yi Ning Wu, Jie Liu, Deborah J. Gaebler-Spira, Li Qun Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Spasticity and contracture are major sources of disability in people with neurological impairments that have been evaluated using various instruments: the Modified Ashworth Scale, tendon reflex scale, pendulum test, mechanical perturbations, and passive joint range of motion (ROM). These measures generally are either convenient to use in clinics but not quantitative or they are quantitative but difficult to use conveniently in clinics. We have developed a manual spasticity evaluator (MSE) to evaluate spasticity/contracture quantitatively and conveniently, with ankle ROM and stiffness measured at a controlled low velocity and joint resistance and Tardieu catch angle measured at several higher velocities. We found that the Tardieu catch angle was linearly related to the velocity, indicating that increased resistance at higher velocities was felt at further stiffer positions and, thus, that the velocity dependence of spasticity may also be position-dependent. This finding indicates the need to control velocity in spasticity evaluation, which is achieved with the MSE. Quantitative measurements of spasticity, stiffness, and ROM can lead to more accurate characterizations of pathological conditions and outcome evaluations of interventions, potentially contributing to better healthcare services for patients with neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and stroke.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-482
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
Volume48
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

Keywords

  • Catch angle
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Contracture
  • Manual spasticity evaluator
  • Neurological disorders
  • Quantitative measurement
  • Range of motion
  • Spasticity
  • Tardieu scale
  • Velocity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation

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