Journal international de médecine physique et de réadaptation

Journal international de médecine physique et de réadaptation
Libre accès

ISSN: 2329-9096


Effects of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation on the Feet and Ankles of the Spinal Cord Injured

Cintia Kelly Bittar, Raissa Cardoso e Silva, Orcizo Silvestre, Alberto Cliquet Jr

Context: Neuromuscular electrical stimulation is a rehabilitation method currently used among patients with spinal cord injury, but its results are not well defined yet.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to clinically and radiographically evaluate comorbidities on the feet and ankles of patients with spinal cord injuries who underwent Neuro-Muscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES).

Methods: Between July 2020 and April 2021, 17 patients at the spinal cord injury ambulatory clinic who underwent NMES (group A) were submitted to a clinical and radiographic assessment of their feet and ankles and compared with a spinal cord injury group (group B) who did not undergo NMES and a group of able-bodied individuals (group C). The ANOVA test was used to compare all the three groups and Mann-Whitney test and T test were used to investigate between-groups differences (when p<0.05).

Results: The mean mobility of the subtalar and ankle joint was higher in group C than in groups A and B. Except for calcaneal- ground angle, differences in the mean measurements of hallux-valgus, intermetatarsal, talocalcaneal, talus-first metatarsal and tibial-calcaneal angles were statistically significant between groups A, B and C. Feet deformities, such as grade I ulcers on the lateral malleolus and calcaneus, were found only in group B.

Conclusion: Partial-load NMES is beneficial for patients with SCI, improving range of motion, diminishing rigidity, and may prevent complications such as pressure ulcers.