[Purpose] The purpose of the study was to design and implement a multichannel dynamic functional electrical stimulation system and investigate acute effects of functional electrical stimulation of the tibialis anterior and rectus femoris on ankle and knee sagittal-plane kinematics and related muscle forces of hemiplegic gait. [Subjects and Methods] A multichannel dynamic electrical stimulation system was developed with 8-channel low frequency current generators. Eight male hemiplegic patients were trained for 4 weeks with electric stimulation of the tibia anterior and rectus femoris muscles during walking, which was coupled with active contraction. Kinematic data were collected, and muscle forces of the tibialis anterior and rectus femoris of the affected limbs were analyzed using a musculoskelatal modeling approach before and after training. A paired sample t-test was used to detect the differences between before and after training. [Results] The step length of the affected limb significantly increased after the stimulation was applied. The maximum dorsiflexion angle and maximum knee flexion angle of the affected limb were both increased significantly during stimulation. The maximum muscle forces of both the tibia anterior and rectus femoris increased significantly during stimulation compared with before functional electrical stimulation was applied. [Conclusion] This study established a functional electrical stimulation strategy based on hemiplegic gait analysis and musculoskeletal modeling. The multichannel functional electrical stimulation system successfully corrected foot drop and altered circumduction hemiplegic gait pattern.
2015 by the Society of Physical Therapy Science. Published by IPEC Inc.