People have asked for more on the Lokomat Gait Trainer. We were able to use the computerized Lokomat Gait Training system while at The Rehab Institute of Chicago. While Ashleigh was only on it twice, it was very cool. The robotics combined with the computer system puts the user in perfect position to walk even if they are not able to help.
Ashleigh tried the Lokomat and we thought she was doing pretty good. But, the therapist thought Ashleigh’s ankle was turned in in such a way as to risk getting a broken ankle if we contintued. Now, you have to remember Ashleigh can’t speak but she gave this therapist a look that would kill. We saw an orthopedic surgeon at Northwestern a few days later and he recommended tendon lengthening surgery followed by casting to relieve the contractures. The surgery went better than the doctor hoped and he did not even do one procedure because the others worked so well.
The successful surgery was the good news, but being in a cast for the next five or six weeks was the bad news. Ashleigh stood in the stander the day after surgery and kept it up even in the casts. She got to try the Lokomat one more time after the casts came off and the therapists were amazed she did so well.
Ashleigh walked for about fifteen minutes and kept her effort up above the machine level the whole time. Fifteen minutes may not sound like a lot but there is probably twenty minutes beforehand standing getting the equipment on and then getting everything adjusted. All in all, she did great. Maybe when we hit the lottery, we will buy one of the Lokomats so she could really see the benefits.
For more: www.ric.org or http://www.hocoma.ch/