Simple foot tapping test as a quantitative objective assessment of cervical myelopathy.Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2012 Jan 15; 37(2):108-13.S
A clinical and cohort study.
The first purpose of this study was to investigate the standard value of a simple foot tapping test (FTT) in a large healthy population. The second purpose was to elucidate the validity of FTT as a quantitative assessment of lower extremity motor function for cervical compressive myelopathy.
SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA
Several clinical performance tests have been reported as objective assessments for the severity of cervical myelopathy. The FTT is the simplest and easiest method for a quantitative analysis of lower limb motor dysfunction in the upper motor neuron diseases. However, there were few studies about the FTT in cervical myelopathy.
We recruited 252 patients who were diagnosed with cervical myelopathy and 792 healthy volunteers who participated in a health promotion project. Among the patients, 126 who underwent surgery were evaluated both before and 1 year after surgery. We performed the FTT and grip and release test and evaluated the modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score for cervical myelopathy.
The mean value of FTT was 23.8 ± 7.2 in myelopathic patients, which was significantly lower than 31.7 ± 6.4 in healthy controls and decreased with age. The value of FTT significantly correlated with the lower extremity motor function of modified JOA score and the value of grip and release test. Among the patients who underwent surgery, the average value of FTT was 22.4 ± 7.0 preoperatively and improved to 28.4 ± 8.1 at 1 year postoperatively. Postoperative gain of FTT significantly correlated with the gain of JOA score.
The FTT results correlated with those of other tests for cervical myelopathy, and the FTT scores were improved by surgery. The FTT is an easy and useful quantitative assessment method for lower extremity motor function in patients with cervical myelopathy, especially those who cannot walk.