How is spasticity defined in middle cerebral artery (MCA) stroke and what can it lead to?

Updated: Aug 09, 2021
  • Author: Daniel I Slater, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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Spasticity is defined generally as the velocity dependent resistance of a muscle to passive range of motion. It is a common finding after middle cerebral artery (MCA) stroke and, if not proactively managed, can lead to serious complications, including contracture, pain, and skin breakdown. Contracture describes a fixed loss of range of motion of a joint and can occur from joint pathology, skin contracture after major burns, or, in the case of untreated spasticity, permanently shortened muscle.

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