The aim of this study was to examine the dexterity of both lower extremities in patients with stroke. Twenty patients with stroke and 20 age-matched control subjects participated in this study. To determine the dexterity of the lower extremities, we examined the ability to control muscle force during submaximal contractions in the knee extensor muscles using a force tracking task. The root mean square errors were calculated from the difference between the target and response force. The root mean square error was significantly greater in the affected limb of patients with stroke compared with those of the unaffected limb and the control subjects, and in the unaffected limb compared with that of the control subjects. Furthermore, the root mean square error of the affected limb was related significantly to motor function as determined by Fugl-Myer assessment. These results demonstrate impairment of the dexterity of both the affected and the unaffected lower extremities in patients with stroke.
Ryoji Kiyama (Corresponding Author) and Kiyohiro Fukudome are with the Course of Physical Therapy, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Kagoshima University Sakuragaoka, Kagoshima, Japan. Toshiki Hiyoshi and Akihide Umemoto are with the Rehabilitation Center, Kajiki-Onsen Hospital, Kagoshima, Japan. Yoichi Yoshimoto and Tetsuo Maeda are with the Course of Physical Therapy, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Kagoshima University, Sakuragaoka, Kagoshima, Japan.