Many people who have neurological injuries and diseases have difficulty walking. Physical therapists often manually assist people in improving their walking ability. Many different approaches are used to retrain walking after spinal cord injuries (SCIs), traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and stroke, and the use of robotic technologies is growing. This article reviews studies that have examined the effects of robotic technologies on the recovery of walking. Overall, the results support that locomotor training with robotic assistance can improve walking following stroke or SCI. Evidence on robotic assistance in multiple sclerosis is limited; however, the potential effect of robotics on gait seems to be at least equal to that of other techniques. The evidence on TBI and Parkinson disease is insufficient to suggest that use of locomotor training with robotic assistance benefits these populations.
Volume 48 Number 4, 2011
Pages 387 — 416
Last Reviewed or Updated Thursday, May 12, 2011 1:59 PM