Robotic exoskeletons: The current pros and cons.

Gorgey AS1.

Robotic exoskeletons have emerged as rehabilitation tool that may ameliorate several of the existing health-related consequences after spinal cord injury (SCI). However, evidence to support its clinical application is still lacking considering their prohibitive cost. The current mini-review is written to highlight the main limitations and potential benefits of using exoskeletons in the rehabilitation of persons with SCI. We have recognized two main areas relevant to the design of exoskeletons and to their applications on major health consequences after SCI. The design prospective refers to safety concerns, fitting time and speed of exoskeletons. The health prospective refers to factors similar to body weight, physical activity, pressure injuries and bone health. Clinical trials are currently underway to address some of these limitations and to maximize the benefits in rehabilitation settings. Future directions highlight the need to use exoskeletons in conjunction with other existing and emerging technologies similar to functional electrical stimulation and brain-computer interface to address major limitations. Exoskeletons have the potential to revolutionize rehabilitation following SCI; however, it is still premature to make solid recommendations about their clinical use after SCI.