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EXOSKELETON GAIT TRAINING AFTER SPINAL CORD INJURY: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY ON SECONDARY HEALTH CONDITIONS

Journal article
Authors C. B. Baunsgaard
U. V. Nissen
A. K. Brust
A. Frotzler
C. Ribeill
Y. B. Kalke
N. Leon
B. Gomez
K. Samuelsson
W. Antepohl
U. Holmstrom
N. Marklund
T. Glott
Arve Opheim
J. Benito Penalva
N. Murillo
J. Nachtegaal
W. Faber
F. Biering-Sorensen
Published in Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine
Volume 50
Issue 9
Pages 806-813
ISSN 1650-1977
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Pages 806-813
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.2340/16501977-2372
Keywords exoskeleton, spinal cord injury, rehabilitation, pain, spasticity, SCIM III, quality-of-life, basic data set, united-states, recovery, pain, individuals, spasticity, rehabilitation, reliability, management, Rehabilitation, Sport Sciences
Subject categories Neuroscience

Abstract

Objective: To explore changes in pain, spasticity, range of motion, activities of daily living, bowel and lower urinary tract function and quality of life of individuals with spinal cord injury following robotic exoskeleton gait training. Methods: Three training sessions per week for 8 weeks using an Ekso GT robotic exoskeleton (Ekso Bionics). Included were individuals with recent (<1 year) or chronic (>1 year) injury, paraplegia and tetraplegia, complete and incomplete injury, men and women. Results: Fifty-two participants completed the training protocol. Pain was reported by 52% of participants during the week prior to training and 17% during training, but no change occurred longitudinally. Spasticity decreased after a training session compared with before the training session (p< 0.001), but not longitudinally. Chronically injured participants increased Spinal Cord Independence Measure (SCIM III) from 73 to 74 (p= 0.008) and improved life satisfaction (p= 0.036) over 8 weeks of training. Recently injured participants increased SCIM III from 62 to 70 (p<0.001), but no significant change occurred in life satisfaction. Range of motion, bowel and lower urinary function did not change over time. Conclusion: Training seemed not to provoke new pain. Spasticity decreased after a single training session. SCIM III and quality of life increased longitudinally for subsets of participants.

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