Management Of Spasticity Following Traumatic Brain Injury

Executive Summary:

Spasticity is a debilitating condition commonly associated with neurological disorders, including stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS), spinal cord injury (SCI) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) that results in muscle dysfunction, motor weakness and in severe cases, contracture of bordering soft tissues. People who experience spasticity have significant impacts to their daily living such as dressing, sleeping, maintaining their personal hygiene, sexual relationships and mobility. Appropriate treatment planning and management of spasticity is needed for people to have a good quality of life and be a part of society. A holistic approach with a multidisciplinary team of health professionals ensures that the person has the best functional outcome. Development of a comprehensive treatment plan with intended goals and functional outcomes for the individual is an essential part of managing spasticity. Several interventions are available for the treatment of spasticity, and due to its multi-faceted nature, adjunctive treatments may be part of the most effective treatment plan for the individual.

Although conditions such as stroke and cerebral palsy are typically associated with spasticity, it is also common in people with TBI (PwTBI). However, the difficulty in recognising spasticity in PwTBI is that it may be masked by other impairments such as challenging behaviours or cognitive impairments. Spasticity in Pw TBI can manifest immediately post-injury. In other cases it may be up to 2 years post-injury before spasticity symptoms appear. For these individuals spasticity may remain undetected and untreated. If spasticity is not treated early enough, complications can arise such as permanent deformities. These complications reduce the quality of life for the person with TBI and increase their reliance on support workers and carers to carry out tasks they may have previously been able to perform.

An NTRI Forum was conducted to develop a draft set of best practice principles for optimal treatment and management of spasticity following TBI.

Date: October 2014

SpasTBI BD     Spas TBI_DS

     Briefing Document              Dialogue Summary
      Download Now                      Download Now

National Trauma Research Institute Logo Alfred logo resized Transport Accident Commission LogoMonash University Logo