Functional neuromuscular stimulation (FNS) provides a mechanism for the activation of muscles paralyzed by injury to the spinal cord. Although this technique was first used to treat patients with spinal cord injury over 20 years ago, only recent advances in electronics and biomechanics have made it a promising aid for the rehabilitation of these patients. Thus far, restoration of palmar prehension and lateral prehension in quadriplegics and of standing and biped gait in paraplegics has been achieved under carefully controlled laboratory conditions. This article reviews the current status of FNS and its potential as a practical tool to aid spinal cord-injury patients. Neurosurgeons who care for these patients might be expected to be involved in the future use of FNS if implantable systems are developed and tested.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology