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Thread: U of Florida Clinical Trial

  1. #1

    U of Florida Clinical Trial

    Well, I arrived in Gainesville last night to begin a clinical trial of suspended locomotor training at the University of Florida. More info about the trial is here.

    I will spend this coming week doing a series of tests including the ASIA test, a variety of gait analysis tests, and an MRI of my spine and lower body to look at the atrophy in my muscles.

    Then next week I will start a nine-week, five-day-a-week training regimen. They will suspend me over the treadmill and get me walking at near-normal walking speeds. There will be three people assisting me, one on each leg and someone working on my arm swing. After that they'll take me outside and do overground training.

    I hope this will improve my walking .. my speed, my endurance, my need for aids. I currently walk with crutches in the community. I can walk without crutches or a cane with someone spotting me, but it's pretty risky as falls are pretty hard on me. I'm C6 ASIA D, Brown-Sequard syndrome, three years post injury. I saw my PT the other day, and over the past two months some of the muscles in my hips and trunk have gotten measurably stronger. I hope that's an indication that I can still get more functional improvement.

    It's quite exciting getting here .. yet the BIG drag is that I'm clear across the country from my wife and kids. I'll spend the same amount of time here as I spent in the hospital after I was injured .. 10 weeks. Kind of a weird symmetry about that.

    So, I'll post here about what happens to me as I go through this trial. Stay tuned!

    - Bruce

  2. #2
    Senior Member dogger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Mitchell , Qld. Australia
    Bruce , say g'day to Andrea Behrman [she is a friend of my cousin , who also works at Gainesville
    ] from me please .
    thank you ,

    every day i wake up is a good one .

  3. #3
    Dogger, I will do that. Andrea Behrman is the principal investigator of the trial.

  4. #4
    Sounds good Projector, we look forward to your updates.

  5. #5
    Yeah, Bruce, please keep us posted! Kate and the kids will miss you, but this is a different kind of separation. This is the best thing you could be doing. I bet you come home w/ muscles on those legs. I'm stoked for you, work hard.

    C5/6 incomplete, injured Aug. 2000

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Hey there -

    So Scott Turnipseed and I are always wondering how it is going for you. Please keep us posted as it is something I might give a try AFTER hearing how it went for you.

    I'm an L-1 walking in the forearm crutches with AFO on both leg's. It's comin up on 1 year 6/15 and I'm a lucky girl for what I've got but if there is something to help me out I'm all for it.

    Good Luck and WORK HARD or I'll let the UW PT department know!

  7. #7
    Hey Jaime, tell the esteemed Mr. Turnipseed that of course I'm working my butt off here plus it's good to see you here on CareCure .. say hi to everyone at the U-Dub for me!

    Actually, I've had a little trouble with my right knee .. it got hurt last week when they did a strength test on my quads. They hooked me up to a powerful e-stim machine, then had me flex my quad against resistance with my leg bent at 90 degrees. When I got as much as my muscle would do, they hit it with a good e-stim jolt, and measured how much more the muscle could do. It gives an indication of how much of the muscle is innervated. But doing that torqued my knee

    I was on the treadmill last weeek and walked up to 2.8 mph .. like this is cruisin' for a gimp such as myself but then yesterday when I was on the treadmill again, the knee pain was causing my quad to spasm and the leg to collapse.

    I had fallen on the knee last December and suffered a small fracture of the patella. I saw a doctor today and the knee is sound, I just have some pain. So I will start training in earnest tomorrow and they will adjust the speed and body weight support so my knee won't fail me.

    I've attached a picture of me walking in a gait analysis test they did last week. They put little reflective balls on key parts of my body .. note the stylish headband! I've also got EMG electrodes on my legs. Behind me is one of eight infrared cameras that pick up the reflections from the balls and feed the data to a computer, which generates a 3D wireframe rendering of my walking. It was kewl!! I'm trying to get a bit of video of the test results, plus I will get a bit of video of vme walking on the treadmill in the next few days. I'll be putting all that on the web so you all can view it if you wish.

    I'll post more soon when I get some video ... here's the pic:

  8. #8
    Moderator kate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    bellevue, wa, usa
    Mmmmm. Good to see those legs!

  9. #9

    I'd like to say you look great,but I can't stop laughing. Those shorts are a fashion statement. One more little humiliation to add to the joy of SCI hehe. I have video of myself doing stat training and this is why nobody has ever seen it.

    Do you use the cane on the strong side or the weak side? Your hands look lots better than mine, luckily since you're an artist. 2.8 mph is hauling butt. Is that with you suspended? The fastest I've ever gotten unsuspended is 1.6 mph and that is mojo-ing. Is the 3D wireframe rendering for gait analysis? Oh I'm jealous. I hope the knee eases up on you very soon. Keep workin' hard, I know it's going to be worth it. Thanks for the update and keep 'em coming-Beth

    C5/6 incomplete, injured Aug. 2000

  10. #10
    Bethany, I'm glad you appreciate my fine attire! Let's see, about your questions .. I use the cane on my strong side, which is lucky because my left hand works. My right is not very functional .. a little flexion and extension, plus tenodesis. I've had to learn to write left handed. 2.8 is hauling butt, that was suspended and lasted for 30 seconds. I've done 1.5 unsuspended myself.

    I've done two days of training now and my body is tired .. I'm using the chair to give my all to the training. My knee is still causing trouble, but I saw a doctor and I'm not going to hurt it. The drag is that when I get tired, I don't walk as well, and that makes it hurt, and when it hurts, my quadriceps spasm and the leg gives way. I expect that will get better. Meanwhile I keep doing as much as I can.

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