Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2013 , Vol 59 , Num 2

Effects of Functional Electrical Stimulation on Wrist Function and Spasticity in Stroke: A Randomized Controlled Study

Dilek Karakuş 1 ,Murat Ersöz 2 ,Gönül Koyuncu 2 ,Dilek Türk 2 ,Fatma Münevver Şaşmaz 2 ,Müfit Akyüz 2
1 Ankara Fizik Tedavi ve Rehabilitasyon Eğitim ve Araştırma Hastanesi, Ankara, Türkiye
2 Ankara Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
DOI : 10.4274/tftr.67442

Objective: To investigate the effect of functional electrical stimulation on wrist function and spasticity in individuals with subacute/chronic stroke.


Materials and Methods: Randomized, controlled and prospective study. Twenty-eight patients with a mean age of 58.9±12.3 years and with a mean stroke duration of 100±62 days were randomly assigned to a functional electrical stimulation group or a control group. A standard rehabilitation program was applied to control group (n=14), and a standard rehabilitation program plus functional electrical stimulation of wrist and finger extensors were applied to the other group (n=14). Upper limb function was assessed by the Motricity index and spasticity was assessed by the Ashworth scale at the beginning and two weeks after the treatment. Resistance to passive wrist flexion and extension at 60, 90 and 120 degrees/sec velocities were measured by using an isokinetic dynamometer.


Results: Total upper extremity Motricity index scores were not different between the groups at the beginning (p=0.142). Intragroup analyses of the Motricity index showed that there was a statistically significant improvement in total Motricity index score in functional electrical stimulation group (n=14) (p=0.027), however, other studied parameters did not improve significantly (p>0.05). None of the studied parameters statistically significantly improved in the standard rehabilitation group (n=14) (p>0.05).


Conclusion: Adding functional electrical stimulation to standard rehabilitation program has a positive improving effect on the upper limb motor function in patients with post-stroke hemiplegia. 

Keywords : Stroke, functional electrical stimulation, spasticity