Stroke patients with motor paralysis and proprioceptive deficits are considered to have a worse functional outcome than those with pure motor paralysis, but the mechanism of this detrimental effect is not clear. In order to clarify it, we compared the motor and functional recovery of the affected upper extremity in stroke patients having pure motor paralysis with that of such patients with both motor and proprioceptive deficits. Forty patients undergoing stroke rehabilitation were studied: 20 with pure motor deficits and 20 also with proprioceptive deficits. They were assessed on four occasions during the first six weeks of rehabilitation. Motor impairment was assessed with the Fugl-Meyer subscale of the upper extremity, disability with the Frenchay Arm Test, and proprio ception by the Thumb Localization Test. Significant within-group improvement of the motor and functional abilities was demonstrated in both groups, between admission to six weeks later (p < 0.001, either group). However, no significant difference was found between the two groups, although pure motor patients had a slightly better outcome. It was concluded that the proprioception deficit did not influence limb recovery in the first six weeks of rehabilitation. Therefore, the upper extremity of all patients should be treated and given a similar chance because significant improvement can be expected in all cases.
- Upper Extremity