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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2012 Jul;93(7):1185-90. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2012.02.009. Epub 2012 Feb 25.

Passive mechanical properties of gastrocnemius muscles of people with ankle contracture after stroke.

Author information

1
George Institute for Global Health, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Erratum in

  • Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2013 Jan;94(1):214.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the mechanisms of contracture after stroke by comparing passive mechanical properties of gastrocnemius muscle-tendon units, muscle fascicles, and tendons in people with ankle contracture after stroke with control participants.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional study.

SETTING:

Laboratory in a research institution.

PARTICIPANTS:

A convenience sample of people with ankle contracture after stroke (n=20) and able-bodied control subjects (n=30).

INTERVENTIONS:

Not applicable.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Stiffness and lengths of gastrocnemius muscle-tendon units, lengths of muscle fascicles, and tendons at specific tensions.

RESULTS:

At a tension of 100N, the gastrocnemius muscle-tendon unit was significantly shorter in participants with stroke (mean, 436mm) than in able-bodied control participants (mean, 444mm; difference, 8mm; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.2-15mm; P=.04). Muscle fascicles were also shorter in the stroke group (mean, 44mm) than in the control group (mean, 50mm; difference, 6mm; 95% CI, 1-12mm; P=.03). There were no significant differences between groups in the mean stiffness or length of the muscle-tendon units and fascicles at low tension, or in the mean length of the tendons at any tension.

CONCLUSIONS:

People with ankle contracture after stroke have shorter gastrocnemius muscle-tendon units and muscle fascicles than control participants at high tension. This difference is not apparent at low tension.

PMID:
22502803
DOI:
10.1016/j.apmr.2012.02.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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