Making Things PossibleBy Golden, Sue; Slezak, Kathryn; Rehab Management,
Publication Date: November/December 2010
Article discusses assistive devices used in a poststroke neurorehabilitation program at the Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (1) Electrical stimulation (e-stim) neuroprosthetics are used to treat foot drop, the inability to dorsiflex the foot due to weakness of the tibialis anterior and peroneal muscle. The device comprises a leg cuff positioned below the knee and using electrodes to stimulate the peroneal nerve, a gait sensor in the heel of a shoe communicating to the leg cuff when the heel strikes and during the swing phase, and a handheld remote that allows for adjustments to the stimulation. (2) Gait and balance training is provided with an overhead suspension system and harness that allow the therapist to provide body weight supported therapy. The device can be used with a treadmill or on the floor. (3) Computerized balance training and assessment equipment utilized allows clinicians to assess such issues as sensory organization, motor control, and limits of stability. Standing on a force plate, the patient watches a moving object on a screen while striving to shift his or her balance from side to side with the object. (4) The Tibion bionic leg assists in the stance phase of gait in stroke patients who have weakness in one leg. When a patient exerts a certain level of force in standing or walking, sensors in the orthotic device alert it to provide added support. (5) The Wii gaming system has therapeutic application and can be purchased for home use; in engaging in a game such as a soccer program, the patient is required to dodge the ball and perform weight shifting.
Published by: Ascend Media LLC (Website:http://www.ascendmedia.com)
Link to text: http://www.rehabpub.com/issues/articles/2010-11_01.asp