The functional use of reciprocal hip mechanism during gait for paraplegic patients walking in the Louisiana State University reciprocating gait orthosis

Philippa Dall, Bertram Müller, Ian Stallard, J Edwards, Malcolm H. Granat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Reciprocally linked orthoses used for paraplegic walking have some form of linkage between the two hip joints. It has been assumed that flexion of the swinging leg is driven by extension of the stance leg. The aims of this study were to investigate the moments generated around the hip joint by the two cables of the Louisiana State University Reciprocating Gait Orthosis (LSU-RGO). Six (6) subjects were recruited from the Regional Spinal Injuries Centre at Southport, who were experienced RGO users. The cables were fitted with strain gauged transducers to measure cable tension. Foot switches were used to divide the gait into swing and stance phases. A minimum of 20 steps were analysed for each subject. Moments about the hip joint for each phase of gait were calculated.
There were no moments generated by the front cable in 4 of the subjects. In only 2 subjects did the cable generate a moment that could assist hip flexion during the swing phase. These moments were very low and at best could only have made a small contribution to limb flexion. The back cable generated moments that clearly prevented bilateral flexion. It was concluded that the front cable, as used by these experienced RGO users, did not aid flexion of the swinging limb.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-162
Number of pages11
JournalProsthetics and Orthotics International
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 1999



  • spinal cord injury
  • reciprocating gait orthosis
  • measurement
  • hip moment

Cite this