author: Yarkony GM, Jaeger RJ, Roth E, Kralj AR, Quintern J.
publication: Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1990 Mar;71(3):201-6.
A study was undertaken to determine if functional neuromuscular stimulation could be used to obtain standing in patients with traumatic spinal cord injury. Twenty-five subjects were selected during the study, and standing was accomplished in 21 using bilateral quadriceps stimulation with the hips in hyperextension. Four subjects elected not to continue participation to the point of standing. Stimulation parameters were 0 to 120V pulse amplitude, frequency 13Hz or 20Hz, and pulse width of 0.4msec. Confirmation of standing with support of 95% of the body weight by the legs was verified by quantitative measurements with a dual-scale force platform or a biomechanics force platform. Subjects initially selected had injury levels between C7 and T11 and ranged in age from 22 to 47 years, with duration of injury from one to 13 years. The subjects had complete lesions, with no active motor function below the last normal level, and absent sensation or partial sparing of sensation with vague perception of pinprick, but no position sense. Six subjects stood at home and 15 stood only in the laboratory. This five-year experience indicates that paraplegic individuals may obtain standing with functional neuromuscular stimulation.