Post-stroke spasticity impedes patients' rehabilitation progress. Contradictory evidence has been reported in using Botulinum Neurotoxin type A (BoNT-A) to manage post-stroke lower extremity spasticity (PLES); furthermore, an optimum dose of BoNT-A for PLES has not yet been established. Therefore, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to identify the efficacy and optimal dose of BoNT-A on PLES. "Meta" and "Metafor" packages in R were used to analyze the data. Hedges' g statistic and random effect model were used to calculate and pool effect sizes. Twelve RCTs met the eligibility criteria. Muscle tone significantly improved in week four, week eight, and maintained to week twelve after BoNT-A injection. Improvements in functional outcomes were found, some inconsistencies among included studies were noticed. Dosage analysis from eight studies using Botox® and three studies using Dysport® indicated that the optimum dose for the commonest pattern of PLES (spastic plantar flexors) is medium-dose (approximately 300U Botox® or 1000 U Dysport®). BoNT-A should be regarded as part of a rehabilitation program for PLES. Furthermore, an optimal rehabilitation program combined with BoNT-A management needs to be established. Further studies should also focus on functional improvement by BoNT-A management in the early stage of stroke.
Keywords: Botulinum toxin; lower extremity; optimal dose; spasticity; stroke.