Logo for the Journal of Rehab R and D

Volume 45 Number 7, 2008
   Pages 997 — 1006

Abstract - Feasibility of combining gait robot and multichannel functional electrical stimulation with intramuscular electrodes

Jessica P. McCabe, MPT;1* Mark E. Dohring, PhD;1 E. Byron Marsolais, MD, PhD;1-2 Jean Rogers, PT;1
Richard Burdsall, PT;1 Kristen Roenigk, BME;1 Svetlana Pundik, MD;1,3 Janis J. Daly, PhD, MS1,3

1Cognitive and Motor Learning Laboratory, Cleveland FES Center, Louis Stokes Cleveland Department
of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Cleveland, OH; 2Departments of Anesthesiology, Biomedical Engineering, and
Orthopaedic Surgery, and 3Department of Neurology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH

Abstract — After stroke rehabilitation, many survivors of stroke exhibit persistent gait deficits. In previous work, we demonstrated significant gains in gait kinematics for survivors of chronic stroke using multichannel functional electrical stimulation with intramuscular electrodes (FES-IM). For this study, we tested the feasibility of combining FES-IM and gait robot technologies for treating persistent gait deficits after stroke. Six subjects, >/= 6 months after stroke, received 30-minute intervention sessions of combined FES-IM and gait robotics 4 days a week for 12 weeks. Feasibility was assessed according to three factors: (1) performance of the interface of the two technologies during intervention sessions, (2) clinicians' success in using two technologies simultaneously, and (3) subject satisfaction. FES-IM system hardware and software design features combined with the gait robot technology proved feasible to use. Each technology alone provided unique advantages and disadvantages of gait practice characteristics. Because of the unique advantages and disadvantages of each technology, gait deficits need to be accurately identified and a judicious treatment plan properly targeted before FES-IM, a gait robot, or both combined are selected.

Key words: cerebrovascular accident, FES, functional electrical stimulation, gait, gait robot, gait training, hemiplegia, motor learning, rehabilitation, robotics, stroke.

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