Lesions of the central afferent and efferent pathways cause onset-delays of long-latency EMG responses from anterior tibial muscle after passive dorsiflection of the ankle joint in standing subjects. In 23 patients with spinal tumour or cervical stenosis and clinical signs of a medullary lesion, short-, medium- and long-latency EMG responses from distal leg muscles after ankle dorsiflection were recorded prior to and after surgical intervention. Fifteen of the patients were re-examined between 1 and 2 years after surgery. The results of the follow-up study support the hypothesis of a supraspinal pathway for long-latency EMG responses in distal leg muscles and show their significance as a quantitative measure of sensorimotor functions.
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