Objective: To evaluate the effects of neuromuscular electric stimulation (NMES) of the tibialis anterior muscle on motor recovery and gait kinematics of patients with stroke. Design: Randomized, controlled, assessor-blinded trial. Setting: Rehabilitation ward and gait laboratory of a university hospital. Participants: A total of 25 consecutive inpatients with stroke (mean age, 55y), all within 6 months poststroke and without volitional ankle dorsiflexion. Intervention: Both the NMES group (n=12) and the control group (n=13) participated in a conventional stroke rehabilitation program, 5 days a week for 4 weeks. The NMES group also received 10 minutes of NMES to the tibialis anterior muscle of the paretic limb. Main Outcome Measures: Brunnstrom stages of motor recovery and kinematic characteristics of gait. Results: Brunnstrom stages improved significantly in both groups (P<.05). In total, 58% of the NMES group and 61% of the control group gained voluntary ankle dorsiflexion. Between-group difference of percentage change was not significant (P>.05). Gait kinematics was improved in both groups, but the difference between groups was not significant. Conclusions: NMES of the tibialis anterior muscle combined with a conventional stroke rehabilitation program was not superior to a conventional stroke rehabilitation program alone, in terms of lower-extremity motor recovery and gait kinematics.

Cerebrovascular accident, Electric stimulation, Gait, Rehabilitation
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2005.12.041, hdl.handle.net/1765/66158
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

Yavuzer, M.G, Geler-Külcü, D, Sonel-Tur, B, Kutlay, S, Ergin, S, & Stam, H.J. (2006). Neuromuscular electric stimulation effect on lower-extremity motor recovery and gait kinematics of patients with stroke: A randomized controlled trial. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 87(4), 536–540. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2005.12.041