Use of Functional Electrical Stimulation to Improve Hand Function with Cervical Spinal Cord Injury: A Case Study

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Musselman, Natalie
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University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University
Spinal cord injuries paralyze many people in the United States each year. The injury location has an impact on the degree of residual function. For people with injuries to the cervical region, loss of hand function is typically observed. This inhibits ability to perform daily activities and results in loss of independence; therefore, restoration of hand function is an important area of study. Functional electrical stimulation applied to paralyzed nerves is an intervention implemented to promote neural health and strength. The NESS H200 is a stimulation device for the hands that is available commercially. This system was applied daily to upper extremities of a quadriplegic participant. Following treatment, no increase the grip or pinch force was observed and no change in the functional assessment was noted. When attempting to increase hand function, the NESS H200 may not be the most time or cost effective treatment for patients with similar injuries.
spinal cord injury, C5, functional electrical stimulation, NESS H200, hand function