Quantitative Evaluation of Walking in Paraplegic Persons, pp. 713-719
Authors: Jůzef Opara
Abstract: Clinical gait analysis is a laboratory-based, i.e., stationary procedure that enables a qualitative assessment, or quantitative, i.e., it describes how well patients are able to move or how much they are limited in their movement capabilities. Activity assessment in daily life, ADL-monitoring is not confined to a lab environment and assesses the quantity of movement or the activity level by describing how much patients are using their individual capabilities and which level of mobility is being used. Both approaches have their specific advantages and disadvantages, which have to be considered before application of either one. However, they may be complementary for a full description of an individualís movement characteristics. In the future, marker-less motion capturing systems might offer an alternative approach halfway between the existing one, i.e., these systems might provide detailed motion analysis in home-based environments. This is the review report on the contemporary possibilities of objective evaluation of walking ability in patients with paraplegia following a spinal cord injury. Current methods of evaluation of walking function, i.e. the ASIA Classification, Functional Independence Measure (FIM), Barthel Index and Spinal Cord Independence Measure (SCIM) are described. The latest classification, known as the WISCI (Walking Index for Spinal Cord Injury) is described in details. WISCI seems to be the most detailed scale that is also sensitive to changes in the patientís walking ability compared to the other scales.