Smart Protocols for Physical Therapy of Foot Drop Based on Functional Electrical Stimulation: A Case Study
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Functional electrical stimulation
Range of motion
Functional electrical stimulation (FES) is used for treating foot drop by delivering electrical pulses to the anterior tibialis muscle during the swing phase of gait. This treatment requires that a patient can walk, which is mostly possible in the later phases of rehabilitation. In the early phase of recovery, the therapy conventionally consists of stretching exercises, and less commonly of FES delivered cyclically. Nevertheless, both approaches minimize patient engagement, which is inconsistent with recent findings that the full rehabilitation potential could be achieved by an active psycho-physical engagement of the patient during physical therapy. Following this notion, we proposed smart protocols whereby the patient sits and ankle movements are FES-induced by self-control. In six smart protocols, movements of the paretic ankle were governed by the non-paretic ankle with different control strategies, while in the seventh voluntary movements of the paretic ankle were used for ...