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Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2007 Jan-Feb;21(1):25-35.

The evolution of walking-related outcomes over the first 12 weeks of rehabilitation for incomplete traumatic spinal cord injury: the multicenter randomized Spinal Cord Injury Locomotor Trial.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA. bdobkin@mednet.ucla.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The Spinal Cord Injury Locomotor Trial (SCILT) compared 12 weeks of step training with body weight support on a treadmill (BWSTT) that included overground practice to a defined but more conventional overground mobility intervention (CONT) in patients with incomplete traumatic SCI within 8 weeks of onset. No previous studies have reported walking-related outcomes during rehabilitation.

METHODS:

This single-blinded, randomized trial entered 107 American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) C and D patients and 38 ASIA B patients with lesions between C5 and L3 who were unable to walk on admission for rehabilitation. The Functional Independence Measure (FIM-L) for walking, 15-m walking speed, and lower extremity motor score (LEMS) were collected every 2 weeks.

RESULTS:

No significant differences were found at entry and during the treatment phase (12-week mean FIM-L = 5, velocity = 0.8 m/s, LEMS = 35, distance walked in 6 min = 250 m). Combining the 2 arms, a FIM-L >or= 4 was achieved in < 10% of ASIA B patients, 92% of ASIA C patients, and all of ASIA D patients. Walking speed of >or= 0.6 m/s correlated with a LEMS near 40 or higher.

CONCLUSIONS:

Few ASIA B and most ASIA C and D patients achieved functional walking ability by the end of 12 weeks of BWSTT and CONT, consistent with the primary outcome data at 6 months. Walking-related measures assessed at 2-week intervals reveal that time after SCI is an important variable for entering patients into a trial with mobility outcomes. By about 6 weeks after entry, most patients who will recover have improved their FIM-L to >3 and are improving in walking speed. Future trials may reduce the number needed to treat by entering patients with FIM-L < 4 at > 8 weeks after onset if still graded ASIA B and at > 12 weeks if still ASIA C.

PMID:
17172551
PMCID:
PMC4110057
DOI:
10.1177/1545968306295556
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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