Mobility for persons with spinal cord injury: An evaluation of two systems

A. W. Heinemann, R. Magiera-Planey, C. Schiro-Geist, G. Gimines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Wheelchairs and knee-ankle-foot orthoses (KAFOs) were evaluated by 92 persons with spinal cord injuries resulting in paraplegia to determine reasons for use and to determine their adequacy. While 67% of the sample was prescribed KAFOs, only 16 (26%) persons who were prescribed braces were still using them for any purpose, and only 4% as their sole means of mobility. Reasons for disuse and problems with braces were examined. Wheelchairs were rated significantly higher than long leg braces on value, potency and activity level permitted. A needs assessment revealed that transportation and mobility concerns were more prevalent than other areas of concern. Differences between KAFO users and former users were examined by discriminant analyses. Former users tended to have complete lesions and to be older; current users tended to have incomplete lesions and to be younger. Despite the problems associated with KAFOs, it is clear that this technology will continue to be useful to some degree for about 10% of individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-93
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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