Article

Prospective, blinded, randomized crossover study of gait rehabilitation in stroke patients using the Lokomat gait orthosis

Department of Neurology, Hospital Hochzirl, Zirl, Austria.
Neurorehabilitation and neural repair (Impact Factor: 4.62). 05/2007; 21(4):307-14. DOI: 10.1177/1545968307300697
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Treadmill training with partial body weight support has been suggested as a useful strategy for gait rehabilitation after stroke. This prospective, blinded, randomized controlled study of gait retraining tested the feasibility and potential efficacy of using an electromechanical-driven gait orthosis (Lokomat) for treadmill training.
Sixteen stroke patients, mostly within 3 months after onset, were randomized into 2 treatment groups, ABA or BAB (A = 3 weeks of Lokomat training, B = 3 weeks of conventional physical therapy) for 9 weeks of treatment. The outcome measures were the EU-Walking Scale, Rivermead Motor Assessment Scale, 10-m timed walking speed, 6-minute timed walking distance, Motricity Index, Medical Research Council Scale of strength, and Ashworth Scale of tone.
The EU-Walking Scale, Rivermead Motor Assessment Scale, 6-minute timed walking distance, Medical Research Council Scale, and Ashworth Scale demonstrated significantly more improvement during the Lokomat training phase than during the conventional physical therapy phase within each 3-week interval.
Despite the small number of patients, the present data suggest that the Lokomat robotic assistive device provides innovative possibilities for gait training in stroke rehabilitation while eliminating prolonged repetitive movements in a nonergonomic position on the part of the physical therapist.

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