Date of Degree

5-2015

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

D.P.T.

Program

Physical Therapy

Advisor

Suzanne R. Babyar Rothbart

Subject Categories

Physical Therapy

Abstract

Purpose. Over 150,000 people in the U.S. every year experience foot drop following a stroke, slowing their ambulation and increasing their falls risk. We explore whether the use of functional electrical stimulation (FES) to the common fibular nerve during acute rehabilitation can maximize ambulation gains. Methods. Five in-patients admitted at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital experiencing foot drop participated. While receiving conventional physical therapy, four subjects wore the Bioness L300® device, and one subject used an elastic figure-8 wrapped elastic bandage. Gait parameters were evaluated at initial evaluation, an intermittent evaluation, and discharge. Results. During their stay, subjects significantly improved in gait velocity, percent of gait cycle in single-leg-stance for the involved lower extremity, percent of gait cycle in stance time for the involved lower extremity, and other gait-related variables. Conclusion. Future research is needed to confirm FES as a more helpful adjunct than an elastic wrap during acute rehabilitation.

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