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Functional electrical stimulation therapy
McDonald, John W. International Center for Spinal Cord Injury, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, Maryland.
Recio, Albert International Center for Spinal Cord Injury, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, Maryland.
- Description of FES
- Benefits and applications of FES
- Patient evaluation for FES
- Future outlook
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Functional electrical stimulation (FES) is defined as the application of an electrical stimulus to paralyzed nerves or muscles following stroke or any other neuromuscular disorder. Its main purpose is to restore and achieve function, and it has long been used in neurological rehabilitation. The efficacy and therapeutic application of FES are well documented and supported by a significant amount of literature. It can be used to stimulate nerves in the arms, legs, trunk, and buttocks in order to achieve a range of functional movements. FES is most often paired with task-specific practice. A common example is the use of FES for motor recovery of upper extremity function in poststroke subjects. FES also can be used to aid in walking because foot drop (the inability to lift the front part of the foot) is one of the most common mobility problems from stroke and other neuromuscular disorders.
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