Paraplegic Conditions That Are Supported by Exoskeletons
One of the conditions we highlighted that is a common cause of paraplegia is spinal cord injury. When spinal cord injuries happen, they interfere with the communication between the brain and body parts below the injury, leading to paralysis. Exoskeletons can be used to support paralysis caused by spinal cord injuries, including injuries to the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar regions.
To support this assertion, several studies have been conducted to investigate and verify the usefulness of exoskeletons for paraplegic conditions. In a 2018 study concerned with the development and control of a robotic lower limb exoskeleton for patients with paraplegic conditions, healthy subjects tested exoskeletons by performing normal daily activities like walking, standing, and sitting. It was concluded that the exoskeletons had natural gait cycles which support ambulation.  In simple terms, it demonstrated the exoskeleton’s ability to aid the rhythmic movement of a stride, which is needed in walking.
Exoskeletons have been shown to have a high impact on people with disabilities who were trying to regain muscle activity in their thighs, hips, and legs. In a clinical trial published in Frontiers in Robotics and AI, it is reported that 62% – 72% of wearers who practiced using exoskeletons in physical therapy could achieve their walking goals within 12 sessions. It also noted that after the 36th session, 80%-84% of the study groups achieved their walking goals. 
To demonstrate how useful and practical exoskeletons are in patients’ recovery and daily activities, here are two stories of patients who rely on exoskeletons.
At 22 years old, Julio Caro, a structural steelworker in southern California, took an 18ft fall while working, which would change his life forever. He broke his back in two different places, injured his spine, and was unable to walk after the ordeal.
“I was young, and so I didn’t understand what was happening,” Caro said. “They said, ‘You’re not going to be able to walk again,’ and I thought they were lying.”
“I just wanted to get back on my feet — I was out to prove everybody wrong,” he added. “So when I first heard [about exosuits], I was, like, Robocop. As soon as I saw the machine and I saw it walk, I thought, ‘Oh cool, it does everything for you.’”
After using the exoskeleton for only five sessions in physical therapy, Caro was able to walk again. He says it made a lot of difference having the robotic legs as they allow him to work again and enjoy what we might typically take for granted, like reaching out and touching a leaf.
“I’m glad this technology is out there, [and] it’s only getting better,” he added.
On Tuesday, December 4th, 2018, Amelia Clark dropped off her three sons at school and went to a hair-coloring class. She had a headache but thought nothing of it. She dismissed it as low blood sugar until the unthinkable happened. She couldn’t stand up.
“I must have passed out because when I woke up, I saw a whole bunch of lights, and the doctor said, ‘Hi. What’s your name? You’ve had a stroke.’”
Clark was hospitalized for a month and a half, unable to walk without any assistance. The first time she took a step after her stroke was when she was introduced to an exoskeleton, EksoNR. In just three months, she was able to walk with a cane and, by August, started driving again.