Functional electrical stimulation after spinal cord injury: Current use, therapeutic effects and future directions

K. T. Ragnarsson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

231 Scopus citations

Abstract

Repair of the injured spinal cord by regeneration therapy remains an elusive goal. In contrast, progress in medical care and rehabilitation has resulted in improved health and function of persons with spinal cord injury (SCI). In the absence of a cure, raising the level of achievable function in mobility and self-care will first and foremost depend on creative use of the rapidly advancing technology that has been so widely applied in our society. Building on achievements in microelectronics, microprocessing and neuroscience, rehabilitation medicine scientists have succeeded in developing functional electrical stimulation (FES) systems that enable certain individuals with SCI to use their paralyzed hands, arms, trunk, legs and diaphragm for functional purposes and gain a degree of control over bladder and bowel evacuation. This review presents an overview of the progress made, describes the current challenges and suggests ways to improve further FES systems and make these more widely available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-274
Number of pages20
JournalSpinal Cord
Volume46
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 11 Apr 2008

Keywords

  • Exercise
  • Functional electrical stimulation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Spinal cord injury

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