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Rehabilitation

Brain aneurysm

09/14/2006

Question:

What are some rehab treatments for hypertonicity in one lower extremity resulting from a ruptured brain aneurysm?

Answer:

Hypertonicity, sometimes known as "tone" or spasticity" is a velocity dependent increase in muscle tone. It usually feels like the muscle(s) are flexing continuously, and moving them through their appropriate range of motion can be difficult.

One of the most widely researched and evidence based treatments is also the one that is the safest; the application of botulinum toxin A) (also known as "botox") to the muscles that are "flexing." This is typically accomplished by having a rehabilitation physician inject the substance directly into the muscles after he/she has identified the muscles that have tone. The nice thing about Botox is that, since it is injected directly into the muscle, it stays in the muscle and does not enter the bloodstream. Therefore, the medicine does not go to other parts of the body via the bloodstream and there tend not to be side effects with Botox.

There are also medications that can be taken orally, such as baclofen or Zanaflex. A physician can also implant a baclofen pump that can transmit the needed amount of baclofen to the part of your spinal cord that controls the flexing muscle group(s).

For more information on hypertonicity and its treatment, you can visit http://www.wemove.org/. On the left you will see a link that says "spasticity." Click on it and you can learn more!

For more information:

Go to the Rehabilitation health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Stephen J Page, PhD Stephen J Page, PhD
Director of Research, Associate Professor
Drake Center
University of Cincinnati