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

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 the authors 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.