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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2003 Aug;84(8):1194-9.

Improvement in walking speed in poststroke spastic hemiplegia after intrathecal baclofen therapy: a preliminary study.

Author information

  • 1Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Alliance, Baylor College of Medicine and University of Texas-Houston Medical School, Houston, TX, USA. francg@tirr.tmc.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To explore whether intrathecal baclofen (ITB) therapy improves ambulation in stroke survivors.

DESIGN:

Case series.

SETTING:

Tertiary care center.

PARTICIPANTS:

Ten adults with poststroke hemiparesis who were ambulatory at the time of pump implantation.

INTERVENTIONS:

Implantation of ITB pump after inadequate control of spasticity with other interventions. Time from stroke onset to implantation averaged 28.6 months (range, 9-55mo).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Customary walking speed was measured from the time required to walk 50ft (15m) at a self-selected pace. Evaluators rated spastic hypertonia and functional mobility.

RESULTS:

Statistically significant improvements occurred in walking speed, functional mobility ratings, and spasticity (P<.05) at a follow-up interval that averaged 8.9 months. Mean walking speed over 50ft improved from 36.6 to 52cm/s. Mean Modified Ashworth Scale scores in the muscles of the affected lower limb improved from 2.0 to 0.4. Normal muscle strength (5/5) was preserved in the unaffected limbs.

CONCLUSIONS:

This preliminary study suggests that ITB therapy, in combination with physical therapy, may improve walking speed and functional mobility in ambulatory individuals with poststroke spastic hemiplegia.

PMID:
12917859
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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