Immediate effect of Walkbot robotic gait training on neuromechanical knee stiffness in spastic hemiplegia: A case report
Do Hyeon Kima,1, Yong-Il Shinb,1, Kyung-Lim Joab, Yoon Kyum Shina, Jae Jin Leea and Sung (Joshua) Hyun Youa∗
aMovement Healing Laboratory, Department of Physical Therapy, Yonsei University, Wonju, Republic of Korea bDepartment of Rehabilitation Medicine, Pusan National University School of Medicine, Research Institute for Convergence of Biomedical Science and Technology, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, Busan, Republic of Korea
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the immediate effect of Walkbot gait training on knee joint stiffness in an individual with spastic hemiplegia.
METHOD: A woman with hemiparetic stroke underwent a 30-minute Walkbot robotic-assisted gait training session. Knee flexion stiffness associated with hamstring spasticity and knee extension torques during the terminal swing phase was determined before and after the intervention using the Walkbot-STIFF measurement system.
DESIGN: Descriptive case analysis. RESULTS: Knee joint extension kinematic at the terminal swing phase increased from 2.44◦ to −0.28◦. Knee joint torque increased from 0.26 Nm to 0.32 Nm. The knee flexion stiffness decreased from 0.0083 Nm/degree to 0.0022 Nm/degree following the training.
CONCLUSIONS: The Walkbot robotic-assisted locomotor training was effective for reducing knee joint stiffness and improving extensor torque during functional gait. Moreover, the Walkbot-STIFF system was useful for assessing and monitoring spasticity during locomotor training.