Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Physical Therapy (M.S.)

Degree Program

Physical Therapy


Individuals with a spinal cord injury (SCI) are frequently taught to ambulate with long leg braces and upper extremity support during their post-acute rehabilitation. In many cases this training fails to carry over once these individuals return to their homes after their rehabilitation course has ended. Subsequently, these individuals rely on their wheelchair as their primary mode of ambulation. Is ambulation training an expropriate intervention for patients in these cases? The purpose of this study was to investigate whether utilization of the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) may serve as a predictor of long term functional ambulation with long leg braces by individuals with a complete SCI at the level of T12-L3. Based on the data collected, we were unable to determine that there is a relationship between total discharge FIM scores and long term functional ambulation in individuals with a SCI between the level of T12 and L3.


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