Reciprocating gait orthosis powered with electrical muscle stimulation (RGO II). Part II: Medical evaluation of 70 paraplegic patients

Orthopedics. 1997 May;20(5):411-8. doi: 10.3928/0147-7447-19970501-09.


Medical evaluation was performed on a group of paraplegics who were trained to walk with the Reciprocating Gait Orthosis powered with electrical muscle stimulation (RGO II). The evaluation included changes in spasticity, cholesterol level, bone metabolism, cardiac output and stroke volume, vital capacity, knee extensors torque, and heart rate at the end of a 30-meter walk. After an average of 14 weeks of training during which patients walked for 3 hours per week, significant reductions in spasticity, total cholesterol and low-density lipids, hydroxyproline/creatinine ratio, and increased knee extensor torque were evident. The data also showed that improvements occurred in the calcium/creatinine ratio, serum calcium and alkaline phosphatase levels, cardiac output and stroke volume, and vital capacity, yet these improvements were not statistically significant. The final heart rate at the end of a 30-meter walk showed that the RGO II required only a moderate level of exertion, which was found to be the lowest among the other mechanical or muscle stimulation orthoses available to paraplegics. It was concluded that the limited but reasonable level of functional regain provided by the RGO II is associated with a general improvement in the paraplegic's physiological condition if used for a minimum of 3 to 4 hours per week.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bone Resorption
  • Electric Stimulation*
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Equipment Design
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Gait / physiology*
  • Hemodynamics / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Muscle Spasticity / prevention & control
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Orthotic Devices*
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Paraplegia / physiopathology
  • Paraplegia / rehabilitation*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / rehabilitation