This study was undertaken to investigate the contribution of a weight-relieving system on the gait of patients with severe locomotor disabilities. Temporal parameters of gait and subjective evaluations of the effect of the system were studied in 24 patients and 6 healthy subjects. Partial weight relief was accomplished through a pneumatic system mounted in the ceiling over a conductive walkway which was placed between parallel bars. Subjects were tested in three walking trials: free walking, walking while harnessed to the system but without weight relief, and walking with relief of 20 percent of their body weight. Temporal measurements indicated a positive effect of the system on duration of the stance and swing phases. The percentage of the stance period of the involved lower limb relative to the uninvolved one increased by 148 percent; at the same time, the swing period of the involved limb relative to the sound one decreased to 68 percent of that value in free ambulation. A substantial increase in gait symmetry and velocity were also noted. Subjective information from the patients and observers also pointed to a facilitative effect of the system on the patients' ambulation. Conversely, natural gait velocity of the healthy subjects was impeded by weight relief through the system.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development|
|State||Published - 1991|
ASJC Scopus subject areas