J Neuroeng Rehabil, Apr 2019

A suite of automated tools to quantify hand and wrist motor function after cervical spinal cord injury.


Grasse KM, Hays SA, Rahebi KC, Warren VS, Garcia EA, Wigginton JG, Kilgard MP, Rennaker RL 2nd

 

BACKGROUND:

Cervical spinal cord injury (cSCI) often causes chronic upper extremity disability. Reliable measurement of arm function is critical for development of therapies to improve recovery after cSCI. In this study, we report a suite of automated rehabilitative tools to allow simple, quantitative assessment of hand and wrist motor function.

METHODS:

We measured range of motion and force production using these devices in cSCI participants with a range of upper limb disability and in neurologically intact participants at two time points separated by approximately 4 months. Additionally, we determined whether measures collected with the rehabilitative tools correlated with standard upper limb assessments, including the Graded Redefined Assessment of Strength, Sensibility, and Prehension (GRASSP) and the Jebsen Hand Function Test (JHFT).

RESULTS:

We find that the rehabilitative devices are useful to provide assessment of upper limb function in physical units over time in SCI participants and are well-correlated with standard assessments.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results indicate that these tools represent a reliable system for longitudinal evaluation of upper extremity function after cSCI and may provide a framework to assess the efficacy of strategies aimed at improving recovery of upper limb function.

 

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