When does spasticity in the upper limb develop after a first stroke? A nationwide observational study on 861 stroke patients

Kyung Eun Nam, Seong Hoon Lim, Joon Sung Kim, Bo Young Hong, Han Young Jung, Ju Kang Lee, Seung Don Yoo, Sung Bom Pyun, Kyoung Moo Lee, Kwang Jae Lee, Hyundong Kim, Eun Young Han, Keong Woo Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated the time taken for upper extremity spasticity to develop and its regional difference after first-ever stroke onset in a nationwide multicenter study in South Korea. The retrospective observational study included 861 individuals with post-stroke spasticity in the upper limbs. Spasticity in the upper extremity joints was defined as a modified Ashworth Scale score ≥1. The median time to develop upper limb spasticity after stroke onset was 34 days. 12% of post-stroke spasticity cases developed between 2 months and 3 months and 13% developed after 3 months from onset. At the time of diagnosis of spasticity, most patients showed only a slight increase in muscle tone, which was observed most frequently in the elbow, followed by the wrist, and fingers. Younger stroke survivors were more spastic, and the severity of spasticity increased with time. Approximately half of the patients with post-stroke spasticity developed spasticity during the first month. However, post-stroke spasticity can develop more than 3 months after stroke onset. Therefore, it is important to assess spasticity, even in the chronic state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-148
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Aug

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was sponsored by Eisai Korea , which manufactures and sells pharmaceutical products in Seoul (EKI-S-CNS-1401). Eisai Korea had no involvement in the study design; the collection, analysis, and interpretation of the data; manuscript writing; or the decision to submit the article for publication. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd


  • Post-stroke spasticity
  • Spasticity
  • Stroke
  • Upper limb

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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