Getting Up GoalsBy Eng, Janice J., PhD, PT/OT; Rehab Management, Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 34-37, 62
Publication Date: January/February 2004
Article discusses assistive technology options for people with spinal cord injuries, who are at risk to develop a number of secondary complications due to chronic immobilization. Following a spinal cord injury, the majority of people experience complications such as pressure sores, urinary tract infections, osteoporosis, contractures, spasticity, and orthostatic hypertension. Home-based standing activities can be used to maintain or improve the overall health of people with spinal cord injuries. Three different types of devices are discussed: (1) orthoses, (2) standing frames and standing wheelchairs, and (3) functional electrical stimulation (FES). The conventional knee-ankle-foot orthosis (KAFO) consists of a shoe, ankle join, knee joint, medial and lateral metal or plastic uprights, calf band, kneepad, and thigh band. The KAFO provides a mechanical support against gravity and locks the knees in extension so they will not collapse. Standing frames and standing wheelchairs provide a mechanical support against gravity so the person can maintain an upright posture. The most basic standing frame is a simple padded wooden or metal frame with a wide base, front table attachment for resting the arms, and straps and pads to hold the legs and trunk in the frame. Clients must pull themselves to their standing position or be assisted by a caregiver or mechanical lift. Functional electrical stimulation applications have been used in research to simulate leg muscles to facilitate sit-to-stand movement or to maintain a standing posture. Many FES systems developed for walking incorporate a stimulation pattern for standing, and may have additional benefits compared to passive standing because of the active muscle stimulation incorporated in the devices.
Published by: Ascend Media LLC (Website:http://www.ascendmedia.com)
This publication is included in the library of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC), accession number J47183