Gait Rehabilitation with Exoskeletons

  • Stefano Federici
  • Fabio Meloni
  • Marco Bracalenti
Reference work entry


The exoskeleton is a robotics-assisted, powered device that enables paralyzed patients to stand up and walk. This chapter examines the state of art concerning the use of active, powered, and wearable lower limb exoskeletons for aiding and rehabilitating paraplegic patients’ gait disorders resulting from serious central nervous system lesions. A qualitative analysis of the literature review found that the rehabilitative use of an exoskeleton is safe and practical, not physically exhausting, and requires just a little cognitive effort. In addition, exoskeleton use is easy to learn, increases mobility and functional abilities, and decreases the risk of secondary injuries, restoring a gait pattern comparable to normal when walking over ground. Nevertheless, the rehabilitative use of an exoskeleton has some important limitations: the wearability criteria are too restrictive, the training to use it autonomously at home is very complex, and the device is still extremely expensive. A further limitation is the scarcity of experimental designs that demonstrate the effectiveness of the exoskeleton compared to other rehabilitative techniques and technologies.


Powered active lower limb exoskeleton Paraplegic patients Gait disorders Central nervous system lesions Gait rehabilitation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefano Federici
    • 1
  • Fabio Meloni
    • 1
  • Marco Bracalenti
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, Social and Human Sciences and EducationUniversity of PerugiaPerugiaItaly

Section editors and affiliations

  • Sebastian I. Wolf
    • 1
  1. 1.Movement Analysis LaboratoryClinic for Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery; Center for Orthopedics, Trauma Surgery and Spinal Cord Injury;Heidelberg University HospitalHeidelbergGermany

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