HandTutor, LegTutor and 3DTutor Effective for Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation and improve outcomes


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Reporting in ”Spinal Cord”, Aug 30,2011 doi: 10.1038/sc.2011.95, Drs.Ferreira VM de Vargas etal of the Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, UNICAMP, State University of Campinas, Campinas, Brazil analyze the relationships between functional tests, arm strength and surface electromyography (EMG). The group works at Sao Paulo, Brazil and looked at Twenty-four patients with chronic tetraplegia . Outcome measures were the Upper extremity motor score (UEMS), functional independence measure (FIM), spinal cord independence measure III and also capabilities of upper extremity (CUE). In addition, muscle strength of the right elbow flexors-extensors was assessed using dynamometry and manual muscle test (MMT) and an EMG was taken of the right biceps and triceps brachii were performed. Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients and Mann-Whitney’s U-test were also used.

The results were that functional tests and UEMS scores correlated strongly among them. UEMS highly correlated with triceps dynamometry and EMG. The dynamometry score showed a very high correlation with MMT score on the extensor group and a moderate correlation with flexor group. Triceps EMG value showed moderate correlation with FIM and CUE scores. High correlations between triceps EMG value and elbow extensors dynamometry and MMT scor were also were observed. In addition, a significant better performance measured by functional tests was observed on lower ASIA motor levels. Finally, the low-tetraplegia group showed a significant higher score on triceps EMG and dynamometry.

Finally the group concluded that Arm strength and EMG score seem to be related to functional capabilities and independence in chronic tetraplegia.

The 3DTutor and its sister wearable braces and glove devices (HandTutor, ArmTutor, LegTutor) are effective in rehabilitation therapy for non complete spinal cord injury victims. The 3DTutor specifically is a wireless motion feedback device that can be positioned on discreet joints of the head, trunk, upper and lower extremities. This will allow for treatment of the joint of choice including wrist, ankle, shoulder and hip.  The 3DTutor can be used alone or in conjunction with the other Tutors to exercise additional interjoint coordination movements. The Tutor system is already installed in leading U.S. and foreign hospitals. Both adults and children can benefit from better rehabilitation outcomes using the  HandTutor, ArmTutor, LegTutor and 3DTutor.


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