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J Spinal Cord Med, 2017; 40(6): 1-11, PMID: 28929919

Evaluating the efficacy of functional electrical stimulation therapy assisted walking after chronic motor incomplete spinal cord injury: effects on bone biomarkers and bone strength.

Year: 2017

Craven BC, Giangregorio LM, Alavinia SM, Blencowe LA, Desai N, Hitzig SL, Masani K, Popovic MR
a Toronto Rehabilitation Institute - UHN , Toronto , ON , Canada.


OBJECTIVES: To determine the efficacy of functional electrical stimulation therapy assisted walking (FES-T) compared to a conventional aerobic and resistance training (CONV) with respect to bone biomarkers and lower extremity bone strength outcomes among adults with chronic motor incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI). Design Parallel group randomized controlled trial ( - NCT0020196819). Site Tertiary academic rehabilitation centre in Canada. Methods Adults with chronic (>/=18 months) motor incomplete SCI (C2-T12 AIS C-D) were consented and randomized to FES-T or CONV training for 45 minutes thrice-weekly for 4 months. Osteocalcin (OC), beta-cross laps (CTX) and sclerostin were assessed at baseline, and 4 months. Similarly, total hip, distal femur and proximal tibia region bone mineral density (BMD) via DXA (4500A, Hologic Inc. Waltham, MA, USA) and tibia bone quality via pQCT (Stratec XCT-2000, Mezintecknik, Pforzheim, Germany) were assessed at baseline, 4, and 12 months. Between group differences were analyzed using repeated measures general linear models. Results Thirty-four participants (17 FES-T, 17 CONV) consented and were randomized, 27 participants completed the 4-month intervention and 12-month outcome assessments. Participants in the FES-T arm had a decrease in CTX and a significant increase in OC at intervention completion (P<0.05). Significant biomarker changes were not observed in the CONV group. No within or between group differences from baseline were observed in sclerostin or bone strength. Conclusions Four months of FES-T improved bone turnover (increase in OC and decrease in CTX) but not bone strength among individuals with chronic SCI. Future, long term FES-T may augment lower extremity bone strength.

GID: 4525; Last update: 25.09.2017