OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to compare the clinical outcomes of manual needle placement, electrical stimulation, and ultrasonography-guided techniques for botulinum toxin injection into the gastrocnemius of adults with spastic equinus after stroke. DESIGN: After randomization into three groups, each patient received the same dose of botulinum toxin type A into the lateral and medial head of the gastrocnemius muscle (OnabotulinumtoxinA, 100U per head) of the affected leg. The manual needle placement group (n = 15) underwent injections using anatomic landmarks and palpation; the electrical stimulation group (n = 15) received injections with electrical stimulation guidance; and the ultrasonography group (n = 17) was injected under sonographic guidance. The modified Ashworth scale, the Tardieu scale, and the ankle passive range of motion were measured at baseline and 1 mo after injection. Nonparametric statistical analysis was used. RESULTS: One month after injection, the modified Ashworth scale improved better in the ultrasonography group than in the manual needle placement group (P = 0.008). The ankle passive range of motion improved better in the ultrasonography group than in the electrical stimulation (P = 0.004) and manual needle placement (P < 0.001) groups. No difference was found between groups for the Tardieu scale. CONCLUSIONS: Ultrasonography-guided injection technique could improve the clinical outcome of botulinum toxin injections into the gastrocnemius of adults with spastic equinus.
Botulinum toxin type A injection into the gastrocnemius muscle for spastic equinus in adults with stroke: a randomized controlled trial comparing manual needle placement, electrical stimulation and ultrasonography-guided injection techniques / Picelli, Alessandro; Tamburin, S; Bonetti, P; Fontana, C; Barausse, M; Dambruoso, F; Gajofatto, F; Santilli, Valter; Smania, N.. - In: AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL MEDICINE & REHABILITATION. - ISSN 1537-7385. - STAMPA. - 11:91(2012), pp. 957-964. [10.1097/PHM.0b013e318269d7f3]