Improvement in step clearance via calf muscle stimulation

Med Biol Eng Comput. 1997 Mar;35(2):113-6. doi: 10.1007/BF02534140.


The aim is to study the influence of electrically stimulated calf muscles on the effectiveness of the swinging leg movement. The study is carried out with a group of patients with incomplete spinal cord injuries both under stationary conditions and during crutch-assisted walking. Before stimulation is applied to the ankle plantar flexors, the knee extensors are inactivated. In each cycle, after ankle plantar flexor stimulation, peroneal stimulation is started, triggering the flexion reflex. From a biomechanical point of view, functional electrical stimulation (FES) of the ankle plantar flexors results in increased ground clearance of the lower extremity. Additionally, the FES-assisted lifting of the heel results in the elimination of extensor tone and thus shortens the swing time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Electric Stimulation*
  • Female
  • Gait / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Leg
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / physiopathology
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / rehabilitation*