Alternative foot placements for individuals with spinal cord injuries standing with the assistance of functional neuromuscular stimulation

Jason C. Gillette, Catherine A. Stevermer, Nancy E. Quick, James Abbas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


This study investigated the effects of altering foot placement for two individuals with spinal cord injuries (SCI) that stood using functional neuromuscular stimulation (FNS) as compared to an able-bodied subject group. FNS-assisted standers used parallel bars as needed for support, while the able-bodied group stood hands-free. Three different foot placements were tested: side-by-side, wide, and modified tandem. For SCI subjects, the percentage of body weight loaded on the feet was not greatly affected by foot placement, which potentially could be altered to provide postural benefits during functional tasks. Anterior/posterior (A/P) center of pressure (COP) origins tended to be located more anterior in the base of support for SCI subjects as compared to able-bodied subjects. SCI subjects also tended to have medial/lateral (M/L) COP excursions that were larger than able-bodied subjects. The sacrum appeared to hold some promise as a sensor location for monitoring A/P postural sway, but movements in the M/L direction were inconsistent and will require additional study. General guidelines such as positioning the A/P COP more posterior in the base of support and feedback concerning excessive M/L COP displacements may be useful to improve standing performance for SCI subjects. In addition, the modified tandem placement was an effective alternative for making postural adjustments in one SCI subject who experienced excessive right knee flexion with other foot placements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-285
Number of pages6
JournalGait and Posture
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2008



  • Balance
  • Center of pressure
  • Functional neuromuscular stimulation
  • Posture
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation

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