School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences Faculty Publications and Presentations

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Background Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States. The EKSO GT Bionics® (EKSO®) is a robotic exoskeleton approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for rehabilitation following a cerebrovascular accident (CVA or stroke) and recently received approval for use in patients with TBI. The aim of the study was to examine if the use of exoskeleton rehabilitation in patients with TBI will produce beneficial outcomes.

Methods This retrospective chart-review reports the use of the (EKSO®) robotic device in the rehabilitation of patients with TBI compared to patients with CVA. We utilized data from a single, private rehabilitation hospital for patients that received post-CVA or post-TBI robotic exoskeleton intervention. All patients that used the exoskeleton were discharged from the hospital between 01/01/2017 to 04/30/2020. Ninety-four percent of patients in the CVA groups and 100% of patients in the TBI group were of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity. Gains in total Functional Independence Measure (FIM), walking and cognition, and length of stay in the rehabilitation facility were measured.

Results Patients in the TBI group (n = 11) were significantly younger than the patients in the CVA group (n = 66; p < 0.05). Both groups spent a similar amount of time active, number of steps taken, and the number of sessions in the exoskeleton. Both groups also started with similar admission FIM scores. The FIM gain in the TBI group was similar to that of the CVA group (37.5 and 32.0 respectively). The length of stay between groups was not different either.

Conclusions The use of exoskeleton rehabilitation in patients with TBI appear to produce similar outcomes as for patients with CVA, prompting further attention of this intervention for this type of injury. Trial registration: Retrospectively registered on 07/09/2020 in number NCT4465019.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.





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