This study quantitatively examined and compared the shoulder motions of C4 level spinal cord injury (SCI), C5 level SCI, and able-bodied persons as a command source. The study was motivated by both the success of shoulder control in functional electrical stimulation (FES) systems designed for C5 level SCI people and the lack of quantitative information on the shoulder motion of persons with C4 level SCI. A dual-axis transducer was used to monitor the elevation/depression and protraction/retraction angles of each subject's shoulder while they performed three experimental sections which examined: the range of active shoulder motion; the ability to move incrementally to discrete positions with the aid of visual feedback; and the ability to hold discrete shoulder positions for an extended period without visual feedback. Results indicated that each group had the largest average shoulder displacements (abled = 23°± 4°, C5's = 14°± 3°, and C4's = 9°± 3°) while attempting to elevate and that on average the C4 group had the smallest range of active shoulder motion. No statistically significant differences between the groups were found in either the accuracy or stability of reaching discrete positions with the aid of visual feedback or in the accuracy of holding discrete shoulder positions for an extended period without visual feedback. The results suggest that within their limited range of motion the individuals with C4 level SCI retained shoulder control sufficient for use as an neuroprosthetic command interface.
- Functional electrical stimulation (FES)
- Spinal cord injury