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Functional neuromuscular stimulation for combined control of elbow extension and hand grasp in C5 and C6 quadriplegics

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2 Author(s)
Grill, J.H. ; Dept. of Biomed. Eng., Case Western Reserve Univ., Cleveland, OH, USA ; Peckham, P.H.

Spinal cord injury sustained at the C5/C6 level leaves an individual without voluntary control of the muscles of the forearm, hand, or of the elbow extensors. The objective of this research project was to integrate functional neuromuscular stimulation (FNS) control of elbow extension with a previously developed system that provides hand grasp in order to increase the working volume in space in which users can perform functional tasks. Elbow extension control was achieved by detecting the position of the arm in space and determining the magnitude of the gravitational moment acting to oppose extension. An accelerometer was used as the command control source, and this sensor was placed over the ulna near the elbow joint to detect static (gravitational) acceleration, and therefore the gravitational moment acting about the elbow joint. This value determined the level of electrical stimulation required to activate the triceps muscles to full extension against these forces. Combined FNS control of elbow extension and hand grasp was implemented in two quadriplegic subjects. Both subjects were able to reach and grasp objects at locations in space which were unattainable without triceps activation

Published in:

Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 2 )