The influence of orthosis stiffness on paraplegic ambulation and its implications for functional electrical stimulation (FES) walking systems.

Abstract:

:This study examines the evidence which supports the importance of maintaining relative abduction for effective reciprocal walking in high level paraplegic patients. In comparisons of orthoses, where this can only be achieved mechanically, those with higher lateral rigidity consistently showed greater levels of walking efficiency. The influence on hybrid systems of functional electrical stimulation (FES) of the gluteal muscles, where the primary function is to maintain abduction, also showed reductions in overall energy cost, reductions in upper limb effort, or both. Examination of the effect of increasing lateral rigidity of a purely mechanical orthosis by 10% showed that significant energy cost reductions were achieved (30% reduction in Physiological Cost Index) for patients with thoracic lesions experienced in reciprocal walking. A review of FES research suggested that for the modern healthcare sector the cost effectiveness of purely mechanical systems make them an attractive means of routinely providing the functional and therapeutic benefits of walking for high level paraplegic patients. In the prevailing climate of strict budgetry control a case is made for concentrating more research resources on improving still further walking efficiency, and resolving the outstanding problems of functionality and cosmesis in such systems for reciprocal walking.

journal_name

Prosthet Orthot Int

authors

Stallard J,Major RE

doi

10.3109/03093649509080352

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

1995-08-01 00:00:00

pages

108-14

issue

2

eissn

0309-3646

issn

1746-1553

journal_volume

19

pub_type

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