Prediction of gait recovery in spinal cord injured individuals trained with robotic gait orthosis
Spastic hypertonia can occur after spinal cord injury and functional walking capacity rehabilitation is a vital aspect. A robotic orthosis moves the subject’s legs and aims to increase walking speed and decrease guidance force. Initially, a harness is used to adjust the amount of body weight that the leg must support.
Once able to support the full body weight a standard battery of walk tests can be performed. Prior to use of the robotic leg participants maximum voluntary contraction of the ankle joint and the associated torque force produced was measured, along with the modified Ashworth score. Combined with muscular strength, these measurements were used as a baseline for walking ability.
Interestingly the results showed that persons who already had a high walking ability improved in speed and balance, while those with initially low levels of ability showed less significant improvement. The information will help clinicians prescribe therapy and rehabilitation. > From: Niu et al., J Neuroeng Rehabil 11 (2014) 42. All rights reserved to The Authors.
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