Restoration of gait by combined treadmill training and multichannel electrical stimulation in non-ambulatory hemiparetic patients.
Hesse S, Malezic M, Schaffrin A, Mauritz KH.
Department of Neurological Rehabilitation, Free University Berlin, Klinik Berlin, Germany.
Functional electrical stimulation and treadmill training with partial body weight support through suspension by a parachute harness were combined for gait restoration in 11 chronic non-ambulatory hemiparetic patients. Individually adjusted multichannel stimulation of the trunk and of upper and lower limb muscles, as well as a motor driven treadmill, induced functional gait within 3 to 6 weeks. The improvement of gait ability was assessed by the Functional Ambulation Category test. Other motor functions were rated by the Rivermead Motor Score. The leg muscle strength, stride length, cadence, gait velocity and gait pattern were recorded. In seven of the patients, we did a single case research A-B-A study that showed that this combined approach had advantages, in regard to gait restoration and walking velocity (p <0.05) as compared with our common physiotherapeutic programme.
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