Aims: Does the addition of botulinum toxin type A increase the effect of casting for improving wrist extension after stroke in people with upper limb spasticity?
Methods: Randomized trial with concealed allocation, assessor blinding and intention-to-treat analysis which was part of a larger trial included 18 adults with upper limb spasticity two years after stroke (89%) or stroke-like conditions (11%). The experimental group (n=7) received botulinum toxin type A injections to upper limb muscles for spasticity management followed by two weeks of wrist casting into maximum extension. The control group (n=11) received two weeks of casting only. Range of motion (goniometry) measured at baseline and after two weeks of casting.
Results: Passive wrist extension for the experimental group improved over two weeks from 22 degrees (SD 16) to 54 degrees (SD 16), while the control group improved from 21 degrees (SD 29) to 43 degrees (SD 26). The experimental group increased passive wrist extension 13 degrees (95% CI 4 to 31) more than the control group which was not statistically significant.
Conclusion: Joint range of motion improved over a two-week period for both groups. Botulinum toxin type A injection followed-by casting produced a mean, clinically greater range of motion than casting alone, therefore, a fully-powered trial is warranted.