Epidural Electrical Simulation with Robot-assisted Rehabilitation in Patients with Spinal Cord Injury (STIMO)
At present, electrical epidural stimulations (EES) of the spinal cord are clinically tested in collaboration of the University Hospital Lausanne and the Spinal Cord Injury Center, University Hospital Balgrist, University of Zürich.
In a surgery, an electrode will be implanted over the lumbar vertebra (see picture). The stimulation is applied by a neuro stimulator, which will be placed under the skin and that can be controlled and regulated by the physician and the patient itself.
In the postoperative phase, during 3-5 months the gait and standing capabilities will be intensively trained 4 times per week, supported by a rehabilitation robot. The electrical stimulation will be used during the training, so as to facilitate the movements and to improve the reorganization of neural connections.
The study focuses on patients with an incomplete spinal cord injury. The patients should be able to stand, whereby the support by any aids like a walker or crutches is allowed. Additionally, the time since injury should be at least 12 months and the rehabilitation should be completed.