INTRODUCTION: Motor dysfunction and muscle atrophy are well-documented in the lower extremity following spinal cord injury. However the extent and time course of myoplastic changes in forelimb musculature is not clear.
METHODS: Forelimb muscle morphology and fiber type were evaluated following high cervical hemi-lesion injury in rats.
RESULTS: There was significant atrophy of the ipsilateral extensor carpi radialis longus (ECRL) muscle 2 weeks post-injury, which was subsequently reversed at 8 weeks post-injury. The triceps muscle showed minimal evidence of atrophy following spinal injury. No significant changes in fiber type were observed.
DISCUSSION: These findings indicate a robust capacity for spontaneous myoplasticity following C2 hemisection injury but highlight differential capacity for plasticity within the forelimb muscles. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
KEYWORDS: Spinal cord injury; atrophy; forelimb muscle; myoplasticity; spontaneous recovery; upper extremity