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J Rehabil Med. 2010 Feb;42(2):150-4. doi: 10.2340/16501977-0499.

Effects of functional electrical stimulation cycling exercise on bone mineral density loss in the early stages of spinal cord injury.

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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Taipei Medical University and Hospital, 252 Wu-Shing Street, Taipei 110, Taiwan, ROC.



To determine whether bone mineral density loss after spinal cord injury can be attenuated by an early intervention with functional electrical stimulation cycling exercises (FESCE) and to ascertain whether the effect persists after FESCE is discontinued.


A prospective study.


Twenty-four individuals with spinal cord injury, 26-52 days after spinal cord injury, were divided into FESCE or control groups.


FESCE was applied in the initial 3 months and then suspended in the subsequent 3 months. Bone mineral density in the femoral neck and distal femur was measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry before training, immediately after the initial 3 months of training, and at the end of the subsequent 3 months.


The bone mineral density decrease rate in the distal femur in the FESCE group was significantly less than that in the control group during the initial 3 months. However, there was no significant difference in the subsequent 3 months.


FESCE in the early stages of spinal cord injury can partly attenuate bone mineral density loss in the distal femur. However, bone mineral density loss in the distal femur cannot be ameliorated completely by FESCE. In addition, the effect on the attenuation of bone loss in the distal femur faded once FESCE was discontinued.

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