Functional electrical stimulation cycling in patients with chronic spinal cord injury: a pilot study

Gurcay E., Karaahmet O. Z. , Cankurtaran D., Nazlı F., Umay E., Güzel Ş., ...More

International Journal of Neuroscience, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00207454.2021.1929212
  • Title of Journal : International Journal of Neuroscience


© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.Objective: To examine the therapeutic value of lower extremity functional electrical stimulation (FES) - evoked cycling on functional independence, health status, gait parameters, pulmonary functions, and biochemical values in patients with chronic complete/incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI). Materials and Methods: Fifteen patients with SCI (duration of more than 6 months) who were able to stand up and walk with long leg braces or assistive devices and had stable neurological status and trunk balance undertook FES cycling for 6 weeks (three times per week). The main outcomes were: Functional Independence Measure (FIM), Nottingham Health Profile (NHP), 6-minute walk test (6MWT), and 20-meter walk test (20MWT). Secondary outcomes include measurements of pulmonary function tests and biochemical values. All parameters were evaluated at the beginning and end of the program. Results: Improvements were seen in motor and total scores of FIM (p = 0.007), physical mobility subscale of NHP (p = 0.011), 6MWT (p = 0.001), and 20MWT (p = 0.011). In pulmonary functions, only forced vital capacity (FVC) levels demonstrated a significant increase compared with baseline (p = 0.011). Biochemical values reached no significant level. Conclusion: The results of this study showed that the FES cycling exercise program improves motor and total FIM scores, gait parameters, and FVC values of pulmonary functions in patients with chronic SCI experience. The FES cycle might be a valuable and well-tolerated intervention in clinical rehabilitation.