Enabling Task-Specific Volitional Motor Functions via Spinal Cord Neuromodulation in a Human With Paraplegia

Mayo Clin Proc. 2017 Apr;92(4):544-554. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2017.02.014.


We report a case of chronic traumatic paraplegia in which epidural electrical stimulation (EES) of the lumbosacral spinal cord enabled (1) volitional control of task-specific muscle activity, (2) volitional control of rhythmic muscle activity to produce steplike movements while side-lying, (3) independent standing, and (4) while in a vertical position with body weight partially supported, voluntary control of steplike movements and rhythmic muscle activity. This is the first time that the application of EES enabled all of these tasks in the same patient within the first 2 weeks (8 stimulation sessions total) of EES therapy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / methods*
  • Electromyography / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology*
  • Paraplegia* / diagnosis
  • Paraplegia* / etiology
  • Paraplegia* / physiopathology
  • Posture / physiology
  • Spinal Cord / physiopathology*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries* / complications
  • Spinal Cord Injuries* / physiopathology
  • Spinal Cord Injuries* / therapy
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Walking / physiology