Authors: Matei Teodorescu1,2, Marius-Nicolae Popescu1,2, Alina Nela Iliescu1,2, Mihai Berteanu1,2
1 “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy Bucharest
2 Medical Rehabilitation Department of the Elias Emergency University Hospital, Romania
Background. Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability. Gait impairment post-stroke has a major implication for health and it is an essential predictor for functional independence. A common gait impairment is the presence of genu recurvatum in post-stroke patients, whether spastic or non-spastic.
Aims. To evaluate the efficacy of the rehabilitation program and botulinum toxin upon gait spatial and temporal parameters, muscle spasticity, functionality of lower limb and risk of fall in post-stroke patients with spastic and non-spastic genu recurvatum.
Methods. We conducted a two-year prospective study (April 2018 – April 2020) of forty hemiparetic patients with spastic (20) and non-spastic (20) genu recurvatum who underwent a rehabilitation program for three weeks and ultrasound guided botulinum toxin injection for the spastic group.
Results. In the non-spastic group, statistically significant differences were observed post-treatment (after 3 weeks) in the case of gait speed from 0.457 meters/sec (T0) to 0.6265 m/sec (T1), TUG from 16.3 (T0) to 14.15 (T1) and LEFS from 32.45 (T0) to 34.7 (T1). In the spastic group, gait speed also had significant differences, from 0.467 (T0) to 0.7145 (T1). LEFS had an increase from 32.45 (T1) to 34.75 (T2). MAS had a decrease from 2.65 (T0) to 1.55 at (T1).
Conclusions. Following a 3-week rehabilitation program and using ultrasound guided botulinum toxin injections, in the case of spasticity, improves gait spatiotemporal asymmetry and ameliorates functionality, lowering the risk of fall in hemiparetic patients with post-stroke genu recurvatum whether spastic or non-spastic.
Key words: stroke, genu recurvatum, spasticity, botulinum toxin, ultrasound guided.