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Hip and trunk stability in paraplegic electrically augmented gait

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2 Author(s)
E. B. Marsolais ; Case Western Reserve Univ., Cleveland, OH, USA ; J. M. Mansour

Research conducted to investigate functional electrical stimulation in the paraplegic individual to provide functional walking is reviewed. To understand better the problems of hip and trunk stability, crutch walking video tapes depicting trial crutch walking sessions experienced by four implanted complete paraplegic individuals were reviewed and all segments demonstrating instability were copied to provide a tape of walking errors. Additional information was gathered from direct observations of similar episodes during muscle programming sessions and exercise walking sessions using a rolling walker. Attempts to use forearm crutches to replace the rolling walker resulted in numerous gait deviations at the hip and spine, the first being a strong tendency to lean forward. It is postulated that adequate hip and trunk stability using electrical stimulation can be achieved through a combination of additional subject training, improved muscle implantation techniques, and improved programming techniques.<>

Published in:

IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine  (Volume:11 ,  Issue: 4 )