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Reliability of Myotonometric Measurement of Stiffness in Patients with Spinal Cord Injury

Jun-Sheng Ge, Tian-Tian Chang, Zhi-Jie Zhang

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Dapeng New District Nan’ao People’s Hospital, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2020; 26:e924811

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.924811

Available online: 2020-06-01

Published: 2020-07-28

BACKGROUND: Contracture is related to modulation of passive stiffness in muscle and tendon after spinal cord injury (SCI). Current clinical assessments of stiffness in muscles and tendons are subjective in patients with spinal cord injury. We proposed a quantitative method to evaluate stiffness of the gastrocnemius and Achilles tendon (AT) with a portable device, the MyotonPRO. The purpose of this study was to investigate the intraoperator and interoperator reliability of the MyotonPRO when used in patients after spinal cord injury.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Fourteen patients with SCI participated in this study. Gastrocnemius stiffness and AT stiffness were measured with the MyotonPRO.
RESULTS: In participants with SCI, the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) values for intraoperator and interoperator reliability of stiffness measurements in the gastrocnemius and AT were excellent (all ICC >0.87), with relatively low values for standard error measurement (SEM) and minimal detectable change (MDC).
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that use of the MyotonPRO is feasible for evaluating stiffness of the gastrocnemius and AT in the lower limbs of patients with spinal cord injury.

Keywords: Achilles Tendon, Elastic Tissue, Spinal Cord Injuries