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Case Reports in Neurological Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 830873, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/830873
Case Report

Feasibility of Functional Electrical Stimulation-Assisted Neurorehabilitation following Stroke in India: A Case Series

1Department of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket, New Delhi, India
2Department of Neurology, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket, New Delhi, India
3Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Georg-August-University, Goettingen, Germany

Received 30 March 2012; Accepted 21 June 2012

Academic Editors: A. E. Cavanna and A. Fasano

Copyright © 2012 Bhawna Khattar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) facilitates ambulatory function after paralysis by electrically activating the muscles of the lower extremities. The Odstock Dropped Foot Stimulator (ODFS, Odstock, UK) called ODFS Pace, was used for heel-switch triggered FES-assisted walking. The ODFS is recommended as an intervention for neurologically impaired gait in the Royal College of Physicians (UK) Clinical Guidelines on Stroke. Based on the guidelines by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE, UK), we started first clinical study in India on ODFS Pace as an orthotic intervention for daily use. In this preliminary study, we also investigated improvement in volitional walking following 6 sessions (3 times per week, for 2 weeks) of 30 minutes of FES-assisted treadmill walking on 7 chronic (>6 months after stroke) stroke survivors. We found that short-duration, moderately intensive FES-assisted gait therapy improved volitional gait in 3 out of 7 stroke survivors suffering from foot drop. Even in absence of improvement in volitional walking, there were no adverse effects and the subjects found heel-switch triggered FES-assisted walking mostly “easy” (6 out of 7). Therefore FES is promising as an orthotic intervention for daily use; however, tailoring the intensity and/or frequency based on patient's ability may make it viable as a therapeutic intervention.