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A comparison between control methods for implanted FES hand-grasp systems

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3 Author(s)
R. L. Hart ; Case Western Reserve Univ., Cleveland, OH, USA ; K. L. Kilgore ; P. H. Peckham

Implanted neuroprostheses employing functional electrical stimulation (FES) provide grasp and release to individuals with tetraplegia. This paper describes and compares three methods of controlling the stimulated hand movement: shoulder position, wrist position and myoelectric activity from the wrist extensors. Three experienced neuroprosthesis users were evaluated with each of the control methods by performing a grasp release test (GRT). A significant improvement was found between each functional electrical stimulation (FES) method and tenodesis without FES. No significant difference in overall performance was found between the three FES methods of control. Each method of control demonstrated advantages and disadvantages which depend upon characteristics of the individual patient. Factors which must be considered are injury level, voluntary wrist strength, proximal upper limb strength, the level of cognition of the patient, hand-grasp characteristics, cosmeses, importance of using both arms, and personal preference. Due to the unique characteristics of each controller type, it is advantageous to have each type available for the FES patients to adapt the system to the needs and desires of the individual patient

Published in:

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