Upper Extremity Robotic Therapy for Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury
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Cervical injury causes tetraplegia in about half of spinal cord injury (SCI) cases and results in impaired hand function. Despite their different etiologies, both SCI and stroke subjects have demonstrated recovery by similar mechanisms of cortical reorganization. This suggests that interventions used after stroke may also be effective after SCI. With the current technology available, robotic devices are being used to provide safe and intensive rehabilitation to people with motor impairment after stroke. The main objective of this study is to assess the safety, comfort, ease of use, fit and therapeutic value of robotic therapy in a SCI clinic. This study investigates the hypothesis that a robotic device used to deliver elbow flexion and extension exercises will be accepted by the subject and lead to improved strength in the treated limb of SCI subjects.