- What are we studying?
SCI individuals with paraplegia may be able to restore their walking ability by using stance-control leg braces that are combined with surface FES of the leg. A novel brace and electrical stimulator combination has been developed for daily use at home.
- How will we do that?
Potential participants will be assessed at the lab. Suitable candidates will be loaned a stimulator to train up their leg muscles. They will then be custom fitted with a brace at a specialized clinic. After being trained how to use the brace and stimulator, participants will take the equipment home to train. Follow-up visits to the lab to assess energetics and system performance will be expected.
- Who can participate?
Adults with T6 to T12 complete paraplegia at least 8 months ago.
- What are some potential benefits?
By using the system to stand or walk, you may maintain or increase your bone density, muscle bulk, strength and endurance. Your energy efficiency may also improve while walking with the system.
You can keep the custom-fitted brace. You can keep the stimulator for 1-2 years as long as you are active in the program.
- How much time does it take?
Up to four visits to the lab (about 2 hours each). One visit to the clinic (2-3 hours), perhaps with one or two follow-ups (1 hour each). Up to an hour/day of training at home over duration of the study.