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Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 2014 May;9(3):226-30. doi: 10.3109/17483107.2013.807442. Epub 2013 Jun 19.

Influence of orthotic gait training with powered hip orthosis on walking in paraplegic patients.

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Orthotics and Prosthetics Department, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Science , Tehran , Iran .



Gait training has been shown to improve the walking performance of spinal cord-injured (SCI) patients. The use of powered hip orthoses (PHO) during gait training is one approach which could potentially improve rehabilitative outcomes for such subjects. The aim of this study was therefore to evaluate the influence of a PHO on the kinematics and temporal-spatial parameters of walking by SCI patients.


Four SCI patients participated in this study. Gait evaluation was performed at baseline and at 10 weeks following intervention with the use of a PHO and gait re-training. Walking speed, step length, vertical and horizontal compensatory motions and hip joint kinematics were analysed prior to and following the training regime.


Significant increases in walking speed and step length were demonstrated by the SCI patients when walking with the PHO following orthotic gait training. Sagittal plane hip range of motion also increased, but not significantly. However, vertical and horizontal compensatory motions decreased significantly.


Positive effects on the kinematics and temporal-spatial parameters of gait by SCI subjects were demonstrated following a period of gait training with a PHO. Further studies are therefore warranted to confirm their long term effects on the rehabilitation of SCI subjects.


Powered hip orthosis could be used by spinal cord injury patients. A major advantage of the orthotic gait training with powered hip orthosis was regeneration of hip movement closer to that of normal human walking. The orthotic gait training with the powered hip orthosis improved the kinematics and temporalspatial parameters in a spinal cord injury patient which also produced near-normal hip joint angle patterns during gait.

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