Applicability of a New Robotic Walking Aid in a Patient With Cerebral Palsy: Case ReportBy Smania, N.; Gandolfi, M.; Marconi, V.; Calanca, A.; Geroin, C.; Piazza, S.; Bonetti, P.; Fiorini, P.; Cosentino, A.; Capelli, C.; Conte, D.; Bendinelli, M.; Munari, D.; Ianes, P.;Fiaschi, A.; Picelli, A.; European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Volume 48, Number 8, pages 147-153
Publication Date: March 2012
Case study evaluated the potential applicability of a new robotic walking aid as a tool for gait training in non-ambulatory children with cerebral palsy (CP). The experimental device was a newly actuated version of a commercially available dynamic combined walking and standing aid, the NF-Walker, which was modified by means of two pneumatic artificial muscles driven by a foot switch inserted in a pair of shoes. The device was tested with an 11-year-old boy with spastic tetraplegic CP who was unable to stand and walk independently. The child was tested at baseline, while maintaining standing position aided by the non-actuated NF-Walker, and in the experimental condition, while using the actuated robotic aid. Outcome measures were a 2 minute walking test, 10 meter walking test, respiratory and heart parameters, and energy cost of locomotion. At baseline, participant was unable to perform any autonomous form of locomotion. When assisted by the actuated aid during the experimental condition, the boy was successful in moving around in his environment. His performance was 19.63 meters in the 2 minute walking test and 64 seconds in the 10 minute walking test. Respiratory and heart parameters were higher than those of healthy age-matched children both at baseline and in the experimental condition. The energy cost of gait, which was not abnormal in the baseline condition, was significantly higher than normality during intervention. Study limitations and implications for future research are discussed.
Published by: Minerva Medica (Website:http://www.minervamedica.it/)
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