BMJ Case Reports 2017; doi:10.1136/bcr-2017-220756
  • Novel treatment (new drug/intervention; established drug/procedure in new situation)

Use of a dynamic gait trainer for a child with thoracic level spinal cord injury

Open Access
  1. Ginny Paleg3
  1. 1Milestones Physical Therapy, Inc., Hurricane, West Virginia, USA
  2. 2Department of Pediatrics, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  3. 3Montgomery County Infants and Toddlers Program, Rockville, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Garey Noritz, garey.noritz{at}
  • Accepted 2 October 2017
  • Published 10 October 2017


Paediatric spinal cord injury (SCI) can result in permanent mobility impairment with consequences for activity, participation and quality of life. This case documents the effect of an overground supported stepping intervention using a dynamic gait trainer. To our knowledge, there are no published studies on this intervention for children with SCI and similar interventions have only been reported in children at American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale (AIS) levels B and C.

A child with a T10 (thoracic level, vertebra 10), AIS level A injury, sustained at 2 years of age, continued to make gains in all areas including participation, activity, body structure and function over the following 4 years. Use of a dynamic gait trainer improved the participant’s ability to be active and participate despite lack of further neuromuscular recovery. This novel approach with a commonly available device allowed the child to be active and participate in the absence of neural recovery.


  • Contributors WA conceived treatment strategies, administered all testing, provided intervention and assistive devices, edited and approved the final version of the manuscript. GN edited and revised the manuscript for content and approved the final version. GP wrote, edited and revised the manuscript for content and approved the final version.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

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