Use of Robotics in Spinal Cord Injury: A Case Report

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

We examined the use of robotics to treat upper-extremity (UE) dysfunction in tetraplegic patients with spinal cord injury (SCI).

METHOD

A 51-yr-old man with an incomplete SCI participated in an occupational therapy program that combined traditional occupational therapy with Reo Go®, a comprehensive therapy platform that includes a robotic guide featuring a telescopic arm to enable high repetitions of functionally relevant UE exercises.

RESULTS

The participant demonstrated measurable improvements in active range of motion, muscle strength as measured through manual muscle testing, perceived right UE function, and self-care performance as measured by the FIM™.

CONCLUSION

The findings from this case are promising and demonstrate the Reo Go's utility in combination with traditional occupational therapy. However, more research and specific protocols that are easily reproducible with robots such as the Reo Go are needed to validate this evolving treatment area.

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