Effect of a robotic restraint gait training versus robotic conventional gait training on gait parameters in stroke patients

Céline Bonnyaud, Raphael Zory, Julien Boudarham, Didier Pradon, Djamel Bensmail, Nicolas Roche
Experimental Brain Research. Experimentelle Hirnforschung. Expérimentation Cérébrale 2014, 232 (1): 31-42
Kinematic and kinetic gait parameters have never been assessed following robotic-assisted gait training in hemiparetic patients. Previous studies suggest that restraint of the non-paretic lower limb during gait training could be a useful rehabilitation approach for hemiparetic patients. The aim of this study is to compare a new Lokomat(®) asymmetrical restraint paradigm (with a negative kinematic constraint on the non-paretic limb and a positive kinematic constraint on the paretic limb) with a conventional symmetrical Lokomat(®) training in hemiparetic subjects. We hypothesized that hip and knee kinematics on paretic side would be more improved after the asymmetrical Lokomat(®) training than after the conventional training. In a prospective observational controlled study, 26 hemiparetic subjects were randomized to one of the two groups Lokomat(®) experimental gait training (LE) or Lokomat(®) conventional gait training (LC). They were assessed using 3D gait analysis before, immediately after the 20 min of gait training and following a 20-min rest period. There was a greater increase in peak knee flexion on the paretic side following LE than LC (p = 0.04), and each type of training induced different changes in vertical GRF during single-support phase on the paretic side. Several other spatiotemporal, kinematic and kinetic gait parameters were similarly improved after both types of training. Lokomat(®) restrained gait training with a negative kinematic constraint on the non-paretic limb and a positive kinematic constraint on the paretic limb appears to be an effective approach to specifically improve knee flexion in the paretic lower limb in hemiparetic patients. This study also highlights spatiotemporal, kinematic and kinetic improvements after Lokomat(®) training, in hemiparetic subjects, rarely investigated before.

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