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IEEE Int Conf Rehabil Robot. 2011;2011:5975429. doi: 10.1109/ICORR.2011.5975429.

Robotic training and kinematic analysis of arm and hand after incomplete spinal cord injury: a case study.

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Dept of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, USA.


Regaining upper extremity function is the primary concern of persons with tetraplegia caused by spinal cord injury (SCI). Robotic rehabilitation has been inadequately tested and underutilized in rehabilitation of the upper extremity in the SCI population. Given the acceptance of robotic training in stroke rehabilitation and SCI gait training, coupled with recent evidence that the spinal cord, like the brain, demonstrates plasticity that can be catalyzed by repetitive movement training such as that available with robotic devices, it is probable that robotic upper-extremity training of persons with SCI could be clinically beneficial. The primary goal of this pilot study was to test the feasibility of using a novel robotic device for the upper extremity (RiceWrist) and to evaluate robotic rehabilitation using the RiceWrist in a tetraplegic person with incomplete SCI. A 24-year-old male with incomplete SCI participated in 10 sessions of robot-assisted therapy involving intensive upper limb training. The subject successfully completed all training sessions and showed improvements in movement smoothness, as well as in the hand function. Results from this study provide valuable information for further developments of robotic devices for upper limb rehabilitation in persons with SCI.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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