Spasticity and bone density after a spinal cord injury
Inka Löfvenmark, Lars Werhagen , Cecilia Norrbrink
Study design: Descriptive, cross-sectional study.
Objective: To assess the relationship between spasticity and bone mineral density in the lower extremities in individuals with a motor complete spinal cord injury.
Methods: Eighteen individuals, matched for time since injury, gender, and age, were included in the study. Nine men had severe spasticity, and 9 men had spasticity that was either mild or not present. Comparisons regarding bone mineral density were made using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Regions of interest measured were total leg, pelvis, femoral neck and total hip. Between-group differences regarding fat and lean tissue were analysed.
Results: Background data, such as weight, height, standing and exercising habits, smoking and alcohol use, were similar in both groups. There was no difference between the groups regarding bone mineral density. All of the participants presented with osteoporosis or osteopaenia values at the hips. Participants with severe spasticity had larger muscle volume than those with none or mild spasticity. No correlations between bone mineral density and body composition with age or time since injury were seen.
Conclusion: No difference in bone mineral density dependant on spasticity was detected in this study, but all included participants showed osteopaenia or osteoporosis at the hip, but not in full body values. Individuals with severe spasticity had greater muscle mass compared with those with no or mild spasticity.