Effects of Walkbot gait training on kinematics, kinetics, and clinical gait function in paraplegia and quadriplegia

Effects of Walkbot gait training on kinematics, kinetics, and clinical gait function in paraplegia and quadriplegia

Jongseok Hwanga, Yongil Shinb, Ji-ho Parka, Young Joo Chaa and Joshua (Sung) H. Youa,∗ aDepartment of Physical Therapy, Sports Movement Artificial Robotics Technology(SMART) Institute, Yonsei University, Wonju, Republic of Korea bDepartment of Rehabilitation Medicine, Pusan National University School of Medicine, Pusan, Republic of Korea


BACKGROUND: The robotic-assisted gait training (RAGT) system has gained recognition as an innovative, effective paradigmtoimprovefunctionalambulationandactivitiesofdailylivinginspinalcordinjuryandstroke.However,theeffects of the Walkbot robotic-assisted gait training system with a specialized hip-knee-ankle actuator have never been examined in the paraplegia and quadriplegia population.

OBJECTIVE:Theaimofthisstudywastodeterminethelong-termeffectsofWalkbottrainingonclinicalforhipsandknee stiffness in individuals with paraplegia or quadriplegia.

METHODS: Nine adults with subacute or chronic paraplegia resulting from spinal cord injury or quadriplegia resulting from cerebral vascular accident (CVA) and/or hypoxia underwent progressive conventional gait retraining combined with the Walkbot RAGT for 5 days/week over an average of 43 sessions for 8 weeks. Clinical outcomes were measured with the Functional Ambulation Category (FAC), Modified Rankin Scale (MRS), Korean version of the Modified Barthel Index (K-MBI), Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS). Kinetic and kinematic data were collected via a built-in Walkbot program.

RESULTS:Wilcoxon signed-rank tests showed significant positive intervention effects on K-MBI, maximal hip flexion and extension, maximal knee flexion, active torque in the knee joint, resistive torque, and stiffness in the hip joint (P<0.05). ThesefindingssuggestthattheWalkbotRAGTwaseffectiveforimprovingkneeandhipkinematicsandtheactivekneejoint moment while decreasing hip resistive force. These improvements were associated with functional recovery in gait, balance, mobility and daily activities.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that the Walkbot RAGT was effective for improving knee and hip kinematics and the active knee joint moment while decreasing hip resistive force. This is the first clinical evidence for intensive, longterm effects of the Walkbot RAGT on active or resistive moments and stiffness associated with spasticity and functional mobility in individuals with subacute or chronic paraplegia or quadriplegia who had reached a plateau in motor recovery after conventional therapy.

Keywords: Paraplegia, quadriplegia, robotic-assisted gait training, Walkbot, stiffness, gait, neurorehabilitation

7. Effects of Walkbot gait training on kinematics, kinetics.pdf

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