Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 50 Number 3, 2013
   Pages 315 — 326

Abstract — Review of electrical stimulation, botulinum toxin, and their combination for spastic drop foot

Ari Jacob Levi Wilkenfeld, MD, PhD

Department of Neurology, Department of Veterans Affairs Boston Medical Center; Department of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine; and Department of Neurology, Harvard University School of Medicine, Boston, MA

Abstract — Spastic drop foot is a functional impairment causing significant morbidity and mortality. Multiple treatments are available for this condition, but it is often not clear which treatment or combination of treatments is optimal for a given patient. One relatively recent therapy is the use of functional electrical stimulation to stimulate the peroneal nerve. Another is the use of botulinum toxin injections in the spastic ankle plantar flexors. While reasons exist to think these two treatments might work effectively in combination, there is no clear consensus in the literature. In this article, I review the background of the pathophysiology of spastic drop foot and its treatment options. I present some of the theoretical reasons why functional electrical stimulation and botulinum toxin injections could work synergistically and present a literature review on the topic. Recommendations for future research are discussed.

Key words: ankle, botulinum toxins, chemodenervation, drop foot, functional electrical stimulation, gait, muscle spasticity, neurorehabilitation, peroneal nerve stimulation, upper motor neuron syndrome.

View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 50, No. 3
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Wilkenfeld AJ. Review of electrical stimulation, botulinum toxin, and their combination for spastic drop foot. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2013;50(3):31526.
ResearcherID/ORCID: Ari Jacob Levi Wilkenfeld, MD, PhD: D-6366-2013

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Last Reviewed or Updated  Thursday, May 30, 2013 12:12 PM

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