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Long-term effect of tibial nerve neurotomy in stroke patients with lower limb spasticity

Published:January 05, 2009DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2008.11.024

      Abstract

      Objectives

      We investigated the long-term effects and predictive indices of efficacy of tibial nerve neurotomy in a large series of patients with post-stroke hemiplegia.

      Methods

      Fifty-one patients were prospectively included, who showed disabling lower limb deformity (equinus, varus, clawing toes). The motor branches of the tibial nerve were selected according to the type of deformity, and partially resected at the posterior part of the calf. Patients were regularly assessed, before surgery and from the third month to the second year post surgery, for spasticity (primary outcome measure), motor control, range of active and passive movements, balance, walk, gait parameters, Rivermead Motor Assessment (RMA), subjective improvement and satisfaction.

      Results

      Neurotomy definitely reduced spasticity and improved motor control on antagonist muscles, while improving balance, walk, and the RMA. These effects were clearly perceived in daily living. A discrete decline was at times observed at 2 years. Functional improvement was greater in patients more severely impaired. Side effects, consisting in sensory disorders, were observed following neurotomy of the motor fascicles of the flexor digitorum longus.

      Conclusions

      Tibial nerve neurotomy showed great and lasting effects, and can be proposed to improve walking and balance in stroke patients with disabling lower limb deformity.

      Keywords

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