Article Title

Energy Expenditure During Gait Using the ReWalk Exoskeletal Walking System for Persons with Paraplegia


1,2Knezevic, S., 2Asselin, P., 1Emmons R., 2Bauman, W., 2Spungen, A. 1William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ, 2James J. Peters VA Medical Center, Bronx, NY

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate energy expenditure (EE) during powered exoskeleton-assisted walking in persons with paraplegia. Methods: A total of 5 male participants, (Ages: 37-61 years, Height: 1.70-1.85 m, Weight: 65.91-95.7 kgs, BMI: 22.71-28.61 kg/m2, Level of Injury: T1-T11, & Duration of Injury: 1.5-14 years) were recruited for this study. EE measurements were obtained from experienced exoskeleton users with paraplegia (PARA) during: seated rest, standing rest, walking, and seated recovery. EE was measured for 6 minutes while: seated, standing, walking, and seated again for two trials, (Pre, & Post) after approximately 60 sessions. A portable metabolic cart was used to obtain all metabolic measurements. Exhaled gases for O2 and CO2 were collected. Training was performed at different walking speeds over the course of the subjects’ training period as execution of operating the exoskeleton increased. Six minute walk time distances were obtained during each trial, from which average walking velocity was calculated. Results: Preliminary data has shown that there is a significant difference between EE during testing (Pre: 1.57±0.36kcal/min Post: 2.00±3.0kcal/min, p,018Conclusion: These preliminary results suggest that powered exoskeletal-assisted walking, for approximately 60 sessions, can improve an individual’s oxygen consumption as well as increase the amount of energy expended. These improvements may potentially further enhance the quality of life of persons with paraplegia.

Support: This research was supported by the Veteran Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development Service (#B4162C) and the James J. Peters VA Medical Center.

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