Wheelchair design for patients with spinal cord injuries

  • Andreas Kouzelis
  • Ioannis Vlamis
Keywords: Orthotics, Wheelchair, Spinal Cord Injury


Wheelchairs are the most common means of transportation for people with spinal cord injury (SCI). The needs, requirements, functional capabilities and personal preferences of the SCI patient should be clarified in order to obtain a wheelchair that will satisfactorily meet its particularities and will enjoy maximum comfort. The purpose of this study is to review the designs of wheelchairs used in the rehabilitation of patients with SCI. In the PUBMED electronic database, a search was performed with the use of the following keywords: “wheelchair” AND “spinal cord injury” AND “design”. Inclusion criteria were studies evaluating wheelchair design in patients with SCI.  The search revealed 573 papers. After checking titles and excluding papers, 48 studies were left for the present review. The proper design of wheelchair is vital to the quality of life of SCI patient. The design characteristics of the seat, the backrest, the wheels, the footrests, the cushions and other accessories may help SCI patients increase their independence and functionality and prevent from pressure ulcers.


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Author Biographies

Andreas Kouzelis

Biomedical Engineer

Ioannis Vlamis

3rd Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Athens, KAT Hospital, Athens, Greece


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