A review of the fundamental design problems of providing ambulation for paraplegic patients


Walking for paraplegics with complete mid-thoracic lesions is now becoming a clinically viable reality. However, much of the literature in this field overstates the achievements and masks the difficulties that patients may encounter.

This paper highlights Independence, Energy Cost, Cosmesis, Reliability and Cost as the five areas of prime interest involved in the design compromise for any walking system and urges that all relevant information for any system should be readily available to prescribers. Currently available walking systems are briefly considered.


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Stallard, J., Major, R. & Patrick, J. A review of the fundamental design problems of providing ambulation for paraplegic patients. Spinal Cord 27, 70–75 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1038/sc.1989.11

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  • Paraplegia
  • FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation)
  • Orthosis
  • Walking

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