Purpose. To assess the change in bone mineral density (BMD) after spinal cord injury (SCI) and to evaluate whether BMD loss can be reversed with the intervention of functional electric stimulation cycling exercises (FESCE). Methods. Fifteen males with SCI were included. Fifteen able-bodied males were also tested to compare BMD. In the SCI group, the FESCE was performed for six months, and then was discontinued in the subsequent six months. BMD was performed before the FESCE, immediately after six months of the FESCE, and at the end of the subsequent six months. Results. Before the FESCE, the BMD of the SCI subjects in every site, except the lumbar spine, was lower than that of the able-bodied subjects. After six months of FESCE, BMD of the distal femur (DF) and proximal tibia (PT) increased significantly, and BMD of the calcaneus (heel) showed a trend of increase. However, the BMD in the DF, PT, and heel decreased significantly after the subsequent six months without FESCE. The BMD of the femoral neck (FN) decreased progressively throughout the programme. Conclusions. Our study showed site-specific BMD changes after FESCE. The BMD loss in the DF and PT was partially reversed after six months of FESCE, but the effect faded once the exercise was discontinued.
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