Walking with the Advanced Reciprocating Gait Orthosis (ARGO) in thoracic paraplegic patients: Energy expenditure and cardiorespiratory performance

M. Massucci, G. Brunetti, R. Piperno, L. Betti, M. Franceschini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The aim of this study was to quantify the energy cost and the cardiorespiratory response while walking at free speed with an Advanced Reciprocating Gait Orthosis (ARGO). The study was conducted on a group of six male paraplegic patients, age rage 16-31 years (median = 22.50), with complete traumatic injuries ranging from T3 to T12 and a median time lapse from the trauma of 21 months. The data was recorded 6-8 weeks after the patients were fitted and trained to use the orthosis. Maintaining a standing position produced a significant increase of both the heart rate (HR) and the respiratory rate (RR), whilst the increase of energy consumption was not significant. The data for median speed, energy consumption and energy cost observed during free walking was similar to that of the Reciprocating Gait Orthosis (RGO) in thoracic level paraplegic individuals. This study indicates that in the utilisation of the ARGO the workload is not excessive when it is limited to maintaining a standing position. In contrast, walking results in early anaerobic conditions and unsustainable fatigue after short distances. The great energy cost recorded is considered to be a main reason for the frequent abandonment or the low utilisation of the orthosis at follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-227
Number of pages5
JournalSpinal Cord
Volume36
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1998

Keywords

  • Energy consumption
  • Energy cost
  • Orthosis
  • Paraplegic
  • Walking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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