[Beneficial effects of reciprocating gait orthosis on bladder and bowel functions in paraplegia patients].
ABSTRACT To evaluate the beneficial effects of application of a self-designed reciprocating gait orthosis (RGO) combined with comprehensive rehabilitation training on bladder and bowel function in paraplegic patients sustaining spinal cord injuries (SCI).
Twelve paraplegic patients with complete spinal cord injury at the levels between T(4) and L(1) received the RGO with a comprehensive rehabilitation exercise program carried out before and after fixing. Cold water and colon excretion tests were performed before and 3 months after application of the RGO, and the bladder volume, residue bladder volume, and bladder and bowel pressures were measured in these patients.
The 12 paraplegic patients all showed positive results in cold water test before and after RGO application. Before RGO application, 11 of these patients were positive for urine bacteria and only 1 patient was still positive 3 months after the application. The bladder volume and bowel pressure of the patients were significantly increased (P<0.05), while the residue volume and pressure of the bladder were significantly reduced 3 months after RGO application (P<0.05).
RGO combined with comprehensive rehabilitation training can effectively improve the bladder and bowel function and the quality of life of patients with complete spinal cord injury, suggesting much clinical value for its extensive application.
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the feasibility of producing an orthotic knee joint that could lock and unlock during ambulation for eventual use in a reciprocating gait orthosis (RGO) for severely disabled patients. Three prototype orthotic knee joints incorporating braking mechanisms were designed and manufactured to demonstrate their ability to withstand a maximum calculated sagittal plane bending moment of 73 Nm. Each was then subjected to bench trials to test their performance against the required specification. Although all three joints achieved the requirement to sustain the specified externally applied bending moments, the hydraulic disc brake system proved significantly superior and was selected for more comprehensive testing. The results confirmed the feasibility of utilising a hydraulic braking mechanism within an orthotic knee joint to withstand the knee flexing moments during walking in a lower limb orthosis. This gave the development group confidence to progress to the prototype design phase with the specific aim of eventually incorporating such a joint in an RGO designed for severely disabled patients such as those with complete paraplegia up to level T4 and those with severe neurological dysfunction.Disability and rehabilitation. Assistive technology 11/2011; 6(6):536-45. DOI:10.3109/17483107.2011.580901