Stroke Training and Awareness Resources (STARs)



Effects of leg weakness

 

 

Clonus is an involuntary rapid movement in the leg as a result of high tone muscles being stretched. This is commonly seen in the calf.

Difficulty standing: Loss of muscle strength and numbness may make it difficult for a person to stand and keep their balance.

Pain can limit movement and affect a person’s walking abilities.

Altered muscle tone: Muscle can become ‘floppy’ (low tone) or ‘tense’ (high tone). We all tense and relax our muscles to allow us to move around normally. However, after a stroke muscles can become abnormally floppy or tense. High tone in the leg is commonly seen in an ‘extensor’ pattern where the leg is held in a straight position with the foot turned in and pointed down.

Increased risk of thrombosis: Blood clots can form inside a blood vessel causing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which can restrict blood flow. Reduced mobility can increase the risk of thrombosis.

Difficulty walking: Loss of muscle strength and numbness may make it difficult for a person to walk and keep their balance.

Spasticity is a particular form of abnormally high muscle tone which can result in tightness and stiffness in the leg. In severe cases this may limit the movement available in the leg.

Page last reviewed: 20 Jan 2020