Walking after spinal cord injury: evaluation, treatment, and functional recovery

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1999 Feb;80(2):225-35. doi: 10.1016/s0003-9993(99)90126-0.


Objective: To present some recent developments and concepts emerging from both animal and human studies aimed at enhancing recovery of walking after spinal cord injury (SCI).

Data sources: Researchers in the field of restoration of walking after SCI, as well as references extracted from searches in the Medline computerized database.

Study selection: Studies that reported outcome measures of walking for spinal cord injured persons with an incomplete motor function loss or cats with either a complete or incomplete spinal section.

Data extraction: Data were extracted and validity was assessed by the authors.

Data synthesis: This review shows that a multitude of interventions--mechanical, electrical, or pharmacologic--can increase the walking abilities of persons with SCI who have incomplete motor function loss.

Conclusions: A comprehensive evaluation of walking behavior requires tasks involving the different control variables. This comprehensive evaluation can be used to characterize the process of recovery of walking as well as the effectiveness of various treatments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Humans
  • Patient Care Team
  • Spinal Cord / physiopathology
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / physiopathology
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Walking* / physiology