Rehabilitation robotics for the upper extremity: review with new directions for orthopaedic disorders.

The focus of research using technological innovations such as robotic devices has been on interventions to improve upper extremity function in neurologic populations, particularly patients with stroke. There is a growing body of evidence describing rehabilitation programs using various types of supportive/assistive and/or resistive robotic and virtual reality-enhanced devices to improve outcomes for patients with neurologic disorders. The most promising approaches are task-oriented, based on current concepts of motor control/learning and practice-induced neuroplasticity. Based on this evidence, we describe application and feasibility of virtual reality-enhanced robotics integrated with current concepts in orthopaedic rehabilitation shifting from an impairment-based focus to inclusion of more intense, task-specific training for patients with upper extremity disorders, specifically emphasizing the wrist and hand.

The purpose of this paper is to describe virtual reality-enhanced rehabilitation robotic devices, review evidence of application in patients with upper extremity deficits related to neurologic disorders, and suggest how this technology and task-oriented rehabilitation approach can also benefit patients with orthopaedic disorders of the wrist and hand. We will also discuss areas for further research and development using a task-oriented approach and a commercially available haptic robotic device to focus on training of grasp and manipulation tasks. Implications for Rehabilitation There is a growing body of evidence describing rehabilitation programs using various types of supportive/assistive and/or resistive robotic and virtual reality-enhanced devices to improve outcomes for patients with neurologic disorders. The most promising approaches using rehabilitation robotics are task-oriented, based on current concepts of motor control/learning and practice-induced neuroplasticity.

Based on the evidence in neurologic populations, virtual reality-enhanced robotics may be integrated with current concepts in orthopaedic rehabilitation shifting from an impairment-based focus to inclusion of more intense, task-specific training for patients with UE disorders, specifically emphasizing the wrist and hand. Clinical application of a task-oriented approach may be accomplished using commercially available haptic robotic device to focus on training of grasp and manipulation tasks.

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bettydroche

My interest in health and fitness started at a young age. Even though I had been educated and trained as an engineer in Europe I always want to follow my passion. I have made some guest appearances on a health educational program TV in Europe and, this experience, has made me follow my passion of sharing wellness information with others.

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