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Proc Inst Mech Eng H. 2012 Aug;226(8):600-11.

Studying the effect of kinematical pattern on the mechanical performance of paraplegic gait with reciprocating orthosis.

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Department of Biomechanics, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Iran.


Paraplegic users of mechanical walking orthoses, e.g. advanced reciprocating gait orthosis (ARGO), often face high energy expenditure and extreme upper body loading during locomotion. We studied the effect of kinematical pattern on the mechanical performance of paraplegic locomotion, in search for an improved gait pattern that leads to lower muscular efforts. A three-dimensional, four segment, six-degrees-of-freedom skeletal model of the advanced reciprocating gait orthosis-assisted paraplegic locomotion was developed based on the data acquired from an experimental study on a single subject. The effect of muscles was represented by ideal joint torque generators. A response surface analysis was performed on the model to determine the impact of the kinematical parameters on the resulting muscular efforts, characterized by net joint torques. Results indicated that a lateral bending manoeuvre at the trunk would facilitate the foot clearance by reducing the torque requirement of the whole body lateral tilting. For swing leg advancement, the trunk posterior bending manoeuvre was found to be more effective and efficient than the whole body axial rotation, owing to the coupled reciprocal action of the advanced reciprocating gait orthosis. It was hypothesized that a modified gait pattern, with larger trunk movements and no axial rotation, could improve the energy expenditure and upper body loading during advanced reciprocating gait orthosis-assisted locomotion. More detailed modelling and experimental studies are needed to verify this hypothesis and evaluate its potential effects on the soft tissue strains.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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