Neuromuscular stimulation in spinal cord injury II: Prevention of secondary complications

Gary M. Yarkony*, Elliot J Roth, George R Cybulski, Robert J. Jaeger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The spinal cord injured patient has been the focus of clinical and research efforts to restore functional movement and to obtain therapeutic benefits by electric stimulation of upper motor neuron paralyzed muscles. This review article treats developments in this field from 1983 to 1990. Efforts have been directed to restoring ventilatory and bladder function, and to preventing secondary complications. Electric stimulation for improving ventilatory function has had reasonable success, and systems are commercially available. Electric stimulation for improving bladder function remains in the research stage in the US, although it has had some clinical success reported in Europe. Electric stimulation techniques to prevent or treat secondary complications have been applied to pressure ulcers, deep-venous thrombosis, contractures, spasticity, deconditioning due to lack of exercise, and muscle atrophy. Therapeutic electric stimulation techniques are largely research techniques. Much additional work remains to be done to solve the difficult problems associated with applying this technology in the treatment of patients with spinal cord injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-200
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992


  • Electrical stimulation
  • Paraplegia
  • Quadriplegia
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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