Ankle plantarflexor spasticity does not restrict the recovery of ankle plantarflexor strength or ankle power generation for push-off during walking following traumatic brain injury

Gavin Williams, Megan Banky, John Olver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The main aim of this project was to determine the impact of plantarflexor spasticity on muscle performance for ambulant people with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Setting: A large metropolitan rehabilitation hospital. Participants: Seventy-two ambulant people with TBI who were attending physiotherapy for mobility limitations. Twenty-four participants returned for a 6-month follow-up reassessment. Design: Cross-sectional cohort study. Main Measures: Self-selected walking speed, Tardieu scale, ankle plantarflexor strength, and ankle power generation (APG). Results: Participants with ankle plantarflexor spasticity had significantly lower self-selected walking speed; however, there was no significant difference in ankle plantarflexor strength or APG. Participants with ankle plantarflexor spasticity were not restricted in the recovery of self-selected walking speed, ankle plantarflexor strength, or APG, indicating equivalent ability to improve their mobility over time despite the presence of spasticity. Conclusion: Following TBI, people with ankle plantarflexor spasticity have significantly greater mobility limitations than those without spasticity, yet retain the capacity for recovery of self-selected walking speed, ankle plantarflexor strength, and APG.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E52-E58
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Ankle power generation
  • Brain injuries
  • Gait
  • Mobility limitation
  • Muscle spasticity
  • Muscle strength

Cite this