Evaluation of supraspinatus muscle changes in the shoulder joint of stroke patients with hemiplegic and shoulder subluxation using ultrasonography: comparison between affected and unaffected sides

J Phys Ther Sci. 2022 Jan;34(1):44-48. doi: 10.1589/jpts.34.44. Epub 2022 Jan 12.


[Purpose] The shoulder joint has a very unstable structure yet a significantly wide range of motion. Weakness of the muscles around the shoulder joint may cause shoulder joint subluxation. This study aimed to determine changes in supraspinatus muscle thickness between different shoulder abduction angles using ultrasonography and to compare differences in supraspinatus muscle thickness changes between the affected and unaffected sides depending on shoulder joint subluxation. [Participants and Methods] Forty hemiplegic patients with stroke were recruited (20 patients with and 20 without shoulder subluxation). Using ultrasonography, we measured supraspinatus muscle thickness at three shoulder joint abduction angles and calculated the differences in supraspinatus muscle thickness. Depending on subluxation, we separately analyzed the thickness and variations in the supraspinatus muscle on both the affected and unaffected sides. [Results] In stroke patients with shoulder subluxation, the difference in supraspinatus muscle thickness was significantly less in the affected side than in the unaffected side. [Conclusion] The thickness and rate of supraspinatus muscle thickness change was significantly less in the affected side than in the unaffected side in stroke patients with shoulder subluxation.

Keywords: Stroke; Supraspinatus muscle thickness; Ultrasound imaging.