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Toxins 2012, 4(8), 605-619; doi:10.3390/toxins4080605
Article

Botulinum Neurotoxin A Injections Influence Stretching of the Gastrocnemius Muscle-Tendon Unit in an Animal Model

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1 UniversitätsKlinikum Heidelberg, Stiftung Orthopädische Universitätsklinik, Schlierbacher Landstrasse 200a, Heidelberg, 69118, Germany 2 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA 3 The Neuroscience Program, Wake Forest University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA 4 Department of Biomedical Engineering, Wake Forest School of Medicine and VT-WFU School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 June 2012 / Revised: 9 August 2012 / Accepted: 10 August 2012 / Published: 13 August 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Use of Botulinum Toxins)
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Abstract

Botulinum Neurotoxin A (BoNT-A) injections have been used for the treatment of muscle contractures and spasticity. This study assessed the influence of (BoNT-A) injections on passive biomechanical properties of the muscle-tendon unit. Mouse gastrocnemius muscle (GC) was injected with BoNT-A (n = 18) or normal saline (n = 18) and passive, non-destructive, in vivo load relaxation experimentation was performed to examine how the muscle-tendon unit behaves after chemical denervation with BoNT-A. Injection of BoNT-A impaired passive muscle recovery (15% vs. 35% recovery to pre-stretching baseline, p < 0.05) and decreased GC stiffness (0.531 ± 0.061 N/mm vs. 0.780 ± 0.037 N/mm, p < 0.05) compared to saline controls. The successful use of BoNT-A injections as an adjunct to physical therapy may be in part attributed to the disruption of the stretch reflex; thereby modulating in vivo passive muscle properties. However, it is also possible that BoNT-A injection may alter the structure of skeletal muscle; thus modulating the in vivo passive biomechanical properties of the muscle-tendon unit.
Keywords: Botulinum Neurotoxin; spasticity treatment; muscle tone; passive muscle biomechanics Botulinum Neurotoxin; spasticity treatment; muscle tone; passive muscle biomechanics
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Haubruck, P.; Mannava, S.; Plate, J.F.; Callahan, M.F.; Wiggins, W.F.; Schmidmaier, G.; Tuohy, C.J.; Saul, K.R.; Smith, T.L. Botulinum Neurotoxin A Injections Influence Stretching of the Gastrocnemius Muscle-Tendon Unit in an Animal Model. Toxins 2012, 4, 605-619.

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