Send to

Choose Destination
Spinal Cord. 2000 Sep;38(9):524-31.

Epidural electrical stimulation of posterior structures of the human lumbosacral cord: 3. Control Of spasticity.

Author information

Maria Theresien Schloessel Neurological Hospital, Vienna, Austria.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) on severe spasticity of the lower limbs in patients with traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) under close scrutiny of the site and parameters of stimulation.


Eight SCI patients (four women, four men) were included in the study. Levels of spasticity before and during stimulation were compared according to a clinical rating scale and by surface electrode polyelectromyography (pEMG) during passive flexion and extension of the knee, supplemented by a pendulum test with the stimulating device switched either on or off over an appropriate period.


Both the clinical and the experimental parameters clearly demonstrated that SCS, when correctly handled, is a highly effective approach to controlling spasticity in spinal cord injury subjects. The success of this type of treatment hinges on four factors: (1) the epidural electrode must be located over the upper lumbar cord segment (L1, L2, L3); (2) the train frequency of stimulation must be in the range of 50 - 100 Hz, the amplitude within 2 - 7 V and the stimulus width of 210 micross; (3) the stimulus parameters must be optimized by clinically assessing the effect of arbitrary combinations of the four contacts of the quadripolar electrode; and (4) amplitudes of stimulation must be adjusted to different body positions.


Severe muscle hypertonia affecting the lower extremities of patients with chronic spinal cord injuries can be effectively suppressed via stimulation of the upper lumbar cord segment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center