Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Chronic Pseudoparalysis Needs to Be Distinguished From Pseudoparesis: A Structural and Biomechanical Analysis


Ernstbrunner, Lukas; El Nashar, Rany; Favre, Philippe; Bouaicha, Samy; Wieser, Karl; Gerber, Christian (2021). Chronic Pseudoparalysis Needs to Be Distinguished From Pseudoparesis: A Structural and Biomechanical Analysis. American Journal of Sports Medicine, 49(2):291-297.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Chronic pseudoparalysis is generally defined as the inability to actively elevate the arm above 90° with free passive range of motion and no neurological deficits. It has been suggested that this arbitrary cutoff needs to be refined.

PURPOSE

To analyze whether there are structural and biomechanical differences in patients with chronic pseudoparalysis and those with chronic pseudoparesis.

STUDY DESIGN

Case-control study; Level of evidence, 3.

METHODS

In this retrospective study, 50 patients with chronic massive rotator cuff tears (mRCTs; ≥2 tendons) and free passive and active scapular plane abduction <90° were divided into 2 groups: pseudoparalysis group (n = 24; active scapular plane abduction, <45°) and pseudoparesis group (n = 26; active scapular plane abduction, >45° and <90°). Radiographic measurements included the critical shoulder angle, acromiohumeral distance, posterior acromial tilt, anterior and posterior acromial coverages, and posterior acromial height on outlet views. Measurements on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) included fatty infiltration of the rotator cuff muscles, anterior (subscapularis) and posterior (infraspinatus/teres minor) tear extensions, and global (anterior + posterior) tear extension in the parasagittal plane. A published musculoskeletal model was used to simulate the effect of different mRCTs on the muscle force required for scapular plane abduction.

RESULTS

Plain radiographs revealed no differences between patients with chronic pseudoparalysis and those with pseudoparesis. MRI assessment showed significant differences between patients with chronic pseudoparalysis and those with pseudoparesis with respect to fatty infiltration of the subscapularis (2.9 vs 1.6; P < .001) and infraspinatus (3.6 vs 3.0; P < .001) muscles, and anterior (-23° vs 4°; P < .001), posterior (-23° vs -14°; P = .034), and global rotator cuff (225° vs 190°; P < .001) tear extensions. The anterior tear extension in patients with chronic pseudoparalysis always involved more than 50% of the subscapularis, which was associated with an odds ratio of 5 for inability to actively abduct more than 45°. The biomechanical model was unable to find a combination of muscles that could balance the arm in space when the tear extended beyond the supraspinatus and the cranial subscapularis.

CONCLUSION

This study confirms that chronic pseudoparalysis and pseudoparesis are associated with different structural lesions. In the setting of a chronic mRCT, involvement of more than 50% of the subscapularis tendon with fatty infiltration of stage 3 is associated with pseudoparalysis of active scapular plane abduction <45°. The key function of the subscapularis was confirmed in the biomechanical model.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Chronic pseudoparalysis is generally defined as the inability to actively elevate the arm above 90° with free passive range of motion and no neurological deficits. It has been suggested that this arbitrary cutoff needs to be refined.

PURPOSE

To analyze whether there are structural and biomechanical differences in patients with chronic pseudoparalysis and those with chronic pseudoparesis.

STUDY DESIGN

Case-control study; Level of evidence, 3.

METHODS

In this retrospective study, 50 patients with chronic massive rotator cuff tears (mRCTs; ≥2 tendons) and free passive and active scapular plane abduction <90° were divided into 2 groups: pseudoparalysis group (n = 24; active scapular plane abduction, <45°) and pseudoparesis group (n = 26; active scapular plane abduction, >45° and <90°). Radiographic measurements included the critical shoulder angle, acromiohumeral distance, posterior acromial tilt, anterior and posterior acromial coverages, and posterior acromial height on outlet views. Measurements on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) included fatty infiltration of the rotator cuff muscles, anterior (subscapularis) and posterior (infraspinatus/teres minor) tear extensions, and global (anterior + posterior) tear extension in the parasagittal plane. A published musculoskeletal model was used to simulate the effect of different mRCTs on the muscle force required for scapular plane abduction.

RESULTS

Plain radiographs revealed no differences between patients with chronic pseudoparalysis and those with pseudoparesis. MRI assessment showed significant differences between patients with chronic pseudoparalysis and those with pseudoparesis with respect to fatty infiltration of the subscapularis (2.9 vs 1.6; P < .001) and infraspinatus (3.6 vs 3.0; P < .001) muscles, and anterior (-23° vs 4°; P < .001), posterior (-23° vs -14°; P = .034), and global rotator cuff (225° vs 190°; P < .001) tear extensions. The anterior tear extension in patients with chronic pseudoparalysis always involved more than 50% of the subscapularis, which was associated with an odds ratio of 5 for inability to actively abduct more than 45°. The biomechanical model was unable to find a combination of muscles that could balance the arm in space when the tear extended beyond the supraspinatus and the cranial subscapularis.

CONCLUSION

This study confirms that chronic pseudoparalysis and pseudoparesis are associated with different structural lesions. In the setting of a chronic mRCT, involvement of more than 50% of the subscapularis tendon with fatty infiltration of stage 3 is associated with pseudoparalysis of active scapular plane abduction <45°. The key function of the subscapularis was confirmed in the biomechanical model.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics

Altmetrics

Downloads

0 downloads since deposited on 22 Feb 2021
0 downloads since 12 months

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
Health Sciences > Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
Language:English
Date:February 2021
Deposited On:22 Feb 2021 16:19
Last Modified:23 Feb 2021 21:00
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:0363-5465
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0363546520969858
PubMed ID:33253014

Download

Closed Access: Download allowed only for UZH members