Bilateral changes in 3-D scapular kinematics in individuals with chronic stroke

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Abstract

Background

Stroke can lead to altered scapular motion that may limit the ability to perform activities of daily living. The aims were to evaluate scapular kinematics of individuals with chronic stroke and the correlation with paretic arm function.

Methods

Scapular kinematics was assessed in thirty-four individuals (Chronic stroke = 17; controls = 17) during arm elevation and lowering in scapular and self-selected planes, and during hair combing. The use of the paretic arm to perform activities of daily living was assessed by the Motor Activity Log (MAL-30). Scapular kinematics was compared among paretic and non-paretic arms, and controls. Correlation between scapular kinematics and MAL-30 was also verified.

Findings

Paretic and non-paretic arms showed increased scapular internal rotation (p < 0.05) during arm lowering in the scapular plane, and during arm elevation and lowering in the self-selected plane compared to controls. Increased internal rotation (p < 0.05) was also found in the paretic arm during hair combing compared to controls. Increased scapular anterior tilt (p < 0.05) was observed in the paretic arm during arm elevation while performing the activity of hair combing and during arm elevation and lowering in the scapular and self-selected planes compared to controls. The non-paretic arm showed increased anterior tilt (p < 0.05) during arm elevation and lowering in self-selected plane compared to controls. No difference in scapular upward rotation among neither arms, nor correlation between scapular kinematics and MAL-30 were found (p > 0.05).

Interpretation

Individuals with chronic stroke showed bilateral scapular kinematics alterations. However, these alterations are not correlated with paretic arm function.

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