Objective: To evaluate the ultrasonographic measurement of shoulder subluxation in patients with post-stroke hemiplegia.
Design: Prospective, single blind study.
Patients: A total of 41 patients with post-stroke hemiplegia were included (24 men and 17 women, mean age 56 years (standard deviation 11), age range 34-78 years).
Methods: Clinical evaluation of the affected shoulder was assessed using the Motricity Index scores and the Modified Ashworth Scale. Two ultrasonographic measurements were taken to check intra-rater reliability. The shoulder subluxation ratio was determined as the ratio of the radiographic vertical and horizontal distance, and the ultrasonographic lateral and anterior distances in the affected shoulder divided by that in the unaffected shoulder.
Results: Intraclass correlation coefficients of the repeated ultrasonographic lateral/anterior distance measurements in the unaffected and affected shoulders were 0.979/0.969 and 0.950/0.947, respectively. Ultrasonographic lateral/anterior distance ratios were negatively correlated with Motricity Index scores of the affected shoulder abduction (r = -0.490, p < 0.001/ r = -0.671, p < 0.001). Ultrasonographic anterior distance ratio was negatively correlated with Modified Ashworth Scale score of the affected shoulder (r = -0.374, p < 0.05). However, there was no correlation between radiographic distance ratios and clinical evaluation scores.
Conclusion: We strongly recommend ultrasonography as a diagnostic tool to measure the degree of shoulder subluxation in patients with post-stroke hemiplegia.