Modeling and Simulation of Paraplegic Ambulation in a Reciprocating Gait Orthosis

[+] Author and Article Information
S. Tashman

Rehabilitation Research and Development Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Palo Alto, CA and Mechanical Engineering Department, Design Division, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

F. E. Zajac

Rehabilitation Research and Development Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Palo Alto, CA and Biomechanical Engineering Program, Mechanical Engineering Department, Stanford University

I. Perkash

Spinal Cord Injury Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Palo Alto, CA and Departments of Urology and Functional Restoration, Stanford University School of Medicine

J Biomech Eng 117(3), 300-308 (Aug 01, 1995) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2794185 History: Received January 10, 1994; Revised June 24, 1994; Online October 30, 2007


We developed a three dimensional, four segment, eight-degree-of-freedom model for the analysis of paraplegic ambulation in a reciprocating gait orthosis (RGO). Model development was guided by experimental analysis of a spinal cord injured individual walking in an RGO with the additional assistance of arm crutches. Body forces and torques required to produce a dynamic simulation of the RGO gait swing phase were found by solving an optimal control problem to track the recorded kinematics and ground reaction forces. We found that high upper body forces are required, not only during swing but probably also during double support to compensate for the deceleration of the body during swing, which is due to the pelvic thrust necessary to swing the leg forward. Other simulations showed that upper body forces and body deceleration during swing can be reduced substantially by producing a ballistic swing. Functional neuromuscular stimulation of the hip musculature during double support would then be required, however, to establish the initial conditions needed in a ballistic swing.

Copyright © 1995 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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