Passive Stretch

This project comes in collaboration between Lawrence Technological University and the University of Detroit Mercy. The team consists of three Biomedical Engineering students from LTU, three Mechanical Engineering students and three Nurses from UDM. The goal is to work as a collaborative team to find a need and provide our client with the most effective solution

Our client is a 59-year-old African American male veteran. He was involved in a spinal cord injury about 7 years ago after he fell down the stairs. He is suffering from spasticity as a complication and getting worse. Spasticity affects the lives of 65% – 78% of Spinal Cord Injury patients and passive stretching is the number one treatment. He is in strong need of a device to passively flex and extend his fingers and wrist at different moment angles for each of his fingers.

The device would provide a solution to combat the joint stiffness, pain muscle contractions, and irreversible muscle contracture occurring within his hands. The device would also help to increase his range of motion (ROM) which can in turn help decrease the strength of unwanted involuntary muscle contractions. The driving motivation behind attempting to alleviate the client’s spasticity is to “actively” treat the client with the use of simple activities such as stretching and exercising (as opposed to risky surgeries or drugs with harmful side effects). However, since the client is without access to physical therapy, he is unable to actively manage his spasticity. Therefore, a design has been proposed intended to passively stretch the patient’s fingers.

 

 

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