Clinical feasibility of gait training with a robotic exoskeleton (WPAL) in an individual with both incomplete cervical and complete thoracic spinal cord injury: A case study

Shigeo Tanabe, Soichiro Koyama, Eiichi Saitoh, Satoshi Hirano, Kanan Yatsuya, Tetsuya Tsunoda, Masaki Katoh, Takeshi Gotoh, Ayako Furumoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Patients with tetraplegia can achieve independent gait with lateral-type powered exoskeletons; it is unclear whether medial-type powered exoskeletons allow for this. OBJECTIVE: To investigate gait training with a medial-type powered exoskeleton wearable power-assist locomotor (WPAL) in an individual with incomplete cervical (C5) and complete thoracic (T12) spinal cord injury (SCI). METHODS: The 60-session program was investigated retrospectively using medical records. Upon completion, gait performance was examined using three-dimensional motion analyses and surface electromyography (EMG) of the upper limbs. RESULTS: The subject achieved independent gait with WPAL and a walker in 12 sessions. He continuously extended his right elbow; his left elbow periodically flexed/extended. His pelvic inclination was larger than the trunk inclination during single-leg stance. EMG activity was increased in the left deltoid muscles during ipsilateral foot-contact. The right anterior and medial deltoid muscle EMG activity increased just after foot-off for each leg, as did the right biceps activity. Continuous activity was observed in the left triceps throughout the gait cycle; activity was unclear in the right triceps. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest the importance of upper limb residual motor function, and may be useful in extending the range of clinical applications for robotic gait rehabilitation in patients with SCI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-95
Number of pages11
JournalNeuroRehabilitation
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology

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