Quantitative Evaluations of Ankle Spasticity and Stiffness in Neurological Disorders Using Manual Spasticity EvaluatorBy Peng, Qiyu; Park, Hyung-Soon; Shah, Parag; Wilson, Nicole; en, Yupeng; Wu, Yi-Ning; Liu, Jie; Gaebler-Spira, Deborah J.; Zhang, Li-Qun; Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, Vol. 48, No. 4, pp. 473-482
Publication Date: 2011
Article presents a manual spasticity evaluator (MSE) that enables quantitative evaluation of spasticity and contracture at the ankle joint. The MSE evaluates spasticity/contracture quantitatively and conveniently, with ankle range of motion and stiffness measured at a controlled low velocity and joint resistance and Tardieu catch angle, the position at which the tested muscle reacts to stretching, measured at several higher velocities. The MSE consists of a custom designed foot plate with a torque sensor, a position sensor, a handle to move the foot plate, a leg support, and a laptop computer with a data acquisition card. A custom data-acquisition program is used to measure, record, and display the torque and position signals and produce real-time audiovisual feedback when a preset velocity and/or torque limit is reached. The MSE was tested with 12 children with CP aged 4 to 19 years who had ankle spasticity and 5 nondisabled children aged 12 to 14 years. Results showed 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. Study limitations and implications for future research are discussed.
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