Virtual reality in paraplegia: A vr-enhanced orthopaedic appliance for walking and rehabilitation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) have a profound physical, social and emotional cost to patients and their families. Obviously SCIs severely disrupt normal patterns of interaction with the environment. Firstly, the opportunities for active interaction are inevitably diminished due to motor or sensory impairment. Moreover, such problems may increase as the time since injury lengthens and the patient becomes more withdrawn and isolated in all spheres of activity. However, advances in Information Technology are providing new opportunities for rehabilitation technology. These advances are helping people to overcome the physical limitations affecting their mobility or their ability to hear, see or speak. In this chapter an overview is given of the design issues of a VR-enhanced orthopaedic appliance to be used in SCI rehabilitation. The basis for this approach is that physical therapy and motivation are crucial for maintaining flexibility and muscle strength and for reorganizing the nervous system after SCIs. First some design considerations are described and an outline of aims which the tool should pursue given. Finally, the design issues are described focusing both on the development of a test-bed rehabilitation device and on the description of a preliminary study detailing the use of the device with a long-term SCI patient.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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