Evaluation of a Robotic Exoskeleton for Gait Training in Acute Stroke: A Case Study
The application of robotic exoskeletons in gait therapy during stroke rehabilitation has grown rapidly over the past decade. The purpose of this investigation is to determine the impact of a robotic exoskeleton (RE) on temporal spatial gait parameters as compared to traditional standard of care gait training in a single inpatient after acute stroke. Outcome measures included temporal spatial gait parameters while walking with and without an RE during a single gait training session two weeks post stroke. During gait training in the RE, walking speed, and stride length increased while step width decreased on the affected and unaffected side. Total double support time decreased, and single support and swing time increased on the affected and unaffected limb during gait training in the RE. Gait training in the RE had a positive effect on the patients overall gait which included improved temporal spatial parameters and gait speed. Positive changes in temporal spatial parameters were evident on the affected and unaffected limb. Preliminary rehabilitative improvements with the RE device may include a gait training environment that is more symmetrical and may improve weight transfer and overall gait speed. Further research with a larger sample with various level of impairment utilizing an RE for gait training is needed to determine the potential utility of REs as an alternative to traditional gait training.
KeywordsAcute Stroke Gait Speed Gait Cycle Stride Length Stroke Rehabilitation
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