Movement detection at the ankle following stroke is poor

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This study assessed whether sense of movement is impaired at the ankle in persons post-stroke who are able to walk independently. Eleven chronic post-stroke subjects (> 4 months post stroke) who were ambulatory with or without walking aids and living within the community, and 10 health age-matched control subjects volunteered to participate. Proprioceptive acuity at the ankle, measured by sense of movement, was tested at three velocities, 0.1, 0.5, and 2.5 deg/sec, in random order. In addition, ankle range of motion and the distance that subjects walked in 6 minutes were assessed. Stroke subjects were significantly poorer (p < 0.001) at detecting movement at the affected ankle compared with either the unaffected ankle or with the control group at each of the velocities tested. Six out of 11 stroke subjects demonstrated significant impairment in movement detection compared to controls. The usual primary impairments following stroke are loss of strength and loss of co-ordination. However, reduced proprioceptive acuity at the affected ankle may also contribute to a person's ability to position and load the foot during walking. This could explain the moderate relationship found between proprioceptive acuity and walking endurance in persons following stroke (Spearman's rho = 0.63 to 0.77).




Lee, M. J., Kilbreath, S. L., & Refshauge, K. M. (2005). Movement detection at the ankle following stroke is poor. Australian Journal of Physiotherapy, 51(1), 19–24.

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