Respiratory Motor Control Disrupted by Spinal Cord Injury: Mechanisms, Evaluation, and Restoration
INTRODUCTION Muscle spasticity may adversely affect pulmonary function after spinal cord injury (SCI). However, there is limited information regarding the treatment of spasticity as a determinant of pulmonary function. This study presents the case of a man with C4 tetraplegia who had severe spasticity and difficulty weaning from ventilatory support. METHODS Case presentation. RESULTS Severe spasticity likely contributed to respiratory compromise in this patient. Successful and rapid weaning from the ventilator occurred within 3 weeks of baclofen pump placement. CONCLUSIONS Randomized clinical trials among SCI patients with significant spasticity are needed to determine whether intervention with a baclofen pump facilitates earlier ventilatory weaning.