What is the role of walking assistance systems in spinal cord injury (SCI) management?

Updated: Nov 01, 2018
  • Author: Lawrence S Chin, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Brian H Kopell, MD  more...
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Answer

In 2014, the FDA approved a wearable, motorized device to help individuals with paraplegia due to an SCI sit, stand, and walk with assistance from a companion. [29, 30]  The device, which is intended for patients with SCIs at levels T7-L5 and for those with level T4-T6 injuries when used only in rehabilitation institutions, consists of the following:

  • Fitted metal brace that supports the legs and part of the upper body
  • Motors that provide movement to the hips, knees, and ankles
  • Tilt sensor
  • Computer and power supply worn on the back

Before using the device, caregivers and patients are required to undergo extensive training.


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