Effectiveness of an Exoskeleton Gait Training Versus Manual Therapy in Subacute Post Stroke Patients.

Recruiting

Phase N/A Results N/A

Trial Description

The main objective of the present study was to compare the effects of exoskeleton devices used in electromechanical-assisted gait training after stroke compared to over ground conventional physical therapy in a single blind research.
The second objective is to research when the devices can be used with the best chance of success in the functional recovery of gait in people who are unable to walk independently after stroke.

Detailed Description

Stroke is the leading cause of death and of serious long term disability in adults, three mouths after stroke, 20% of people remain wheelchair bound, and 70% walk at reduced velocity and capacity.
People who suffer a stroke, when regain ambulatory function, walk with typically asymmetrical gait pattern, slow, and metabolically inefficient. These characteristics are associated with difficulty advancing and bearing weight though the more affected limb, leading to instability and increased risk of falls.
Manually-assisted body-weight supported Treadmill training (BWSTT) is a contemporary approach to gait rehabilitation after stroke, whereas an individual walks on a treadmill, the therapists manually facilitate hemiparetic limb and trunk control in an effort to normalize upright reciprocal stepping and dynamic postural control. Advantages of this approach are that little to no ambulatory function is required to initiate locomotion and early post stroke training effects are transferred of improvements in over ground gait including: symmetry, speed, and endurance as well as motor impairment and balance scores.
An example of electromechanical devices is Lokomat, a robotic gait orthosis combined with harness-supported body weight system is used together with a treadmill. However the main difference from treadmill training is that the patient's legs are guided by the robotic device according to a preprogrammed gait pattern. A computer-controlled robotic gait orthosis guides the patient, and the process of gait training in automated.
Lokomat can be used to give non ambulatory patients intensive practice in terms of high repetitions, of complex gait cycles with a reduced effort for therapists, as they no longer need to set the paretic limbs or assist trunk movements.
The main objective of the present study was to compare the effects of exoskeleton devices used in electromechanical-assisted gait training after stroke compared to over ground conventional physical therapy in a single blind research.
The second objective is to research when the devices can be used with the best chance of success in the functional recovery of gait in people who are unable to walk independently after stroke.

Conditions

Interventions

  • Technological Rehabilitation Device
    Other Names: Lokomat
    Intervention Desc: The Lokomat (Hocoma, Zurich, Switzerland) is robotic device conformed as an exoskeleton on the lower limbs of the patient. Through active and passive actuators, it realize a proper trajectory with an associated motion profile of the involved limbs. The results are physically guide repetitive, rhythmic, bilateral lower extremity movements in order to simulate a physiological gait cycle.The system uses a dynamic body weight-support system to support the participant above a motorized treadmill synchronized with the Lokomat. Participants were provided verbal encouragement to actively step in conjunction with the movement presented by the Lokomat.
    ARM 1: Kind: Experimental
    Label: Technological Rehabilitation
    Description: Patients in the experimental group received a multimodal treatment intervention consisting of 60 minutes of conventional treatment according to the Bobath approach (Bobath B. Adult hemiplegia: evaluation and treatment. Oxford: Butterworth-Heineman, 1990) followed by 30 minutes of robotic gait training on the Lokomat robotic system with the supervision of an expert rehabilitator. Patients started the first session with 50% weight unload and 1.5 Km/h gait speed, performances increments are allowed only in the following sessions. Each patient received 20 sessions over a period of 4 weeks (5 sessions per week).
  • Control Rehabilitation Other
    Other Names: Manual rehabilitation with the therapist.
    Intervention Desc: When needed, more than one therapist are employed in the intervention for safety reasons.
    ARM 1: Kind: Experimental
    Label: Control Rehabilitation
    Description: Patients in the control group received the same number of treatment sessions of a similar duration as those in the experimental group but they received activities of overground walking exercises targeted to improve walking in substitution of the robotic gait trainer.

Trial Design

  • Allocation: Randomized
  • Masking: Double Blind (Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
  • Purpose: Treatment
  • Endpoint: Efficacy Study
  • Intervention: Parallel Assignment

Outcomes

Type Measure Time Frame Safety Issue
Primary Gait performances 1 day before the treatment No
Secondary Functional outcomes 1 day before the treatment No

Sponsors