Monday, April 12, 2010

Hope Patient

Hope Patient

A 50-year-old man who is paralyzed from the neck down in a motorcycle accident a devastating AYear learns to walk again with the help of a robot named Lokomat at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Chuck Benefield of Dallas was his bike on a quiet street when a car came back, two steps from the bike. When he awoke from a coma, 11 days later he learned he was paralyzed. "I was beaten very badly," said Benefield. "The doctors said it was an incomplete spinal cord injury, and I would never go back safely. It is difficult to adjust." But that was before I met Lokomat.Physicians and physical therapy at UT Southwestern are using the device Learning to walk again.

The Mr. Benefield robot sees "gait training" by teaching the patient's spinal cord and brain, with sensory information to te body to step signal. A harness supports the patient's body weight over a large treadmill.

The legs and hips are attached to the machine robotic exoskeleton, which simulates a fluid walking motion. A computer records precise movement measurements and plots on a graph, shown in real time on a screen in the vicinity and allows patients and therapists to follow progress.UT South West is the only institution in Texas and one of the few in the country, the with the new machine.

While conventional treatments, patients are supported by a harness over a treadmill, but the therapist must manually move the patient's hips and legs. The process is very stressful for the patient and the therapist and the patient's spasticity often can not be resolved to carry out gait training. "The robot not only provides specific parameters and consistent education and power, can now also see the reactions of the patient, freeing the therapist to adjust settings to make during the robot and to improve patient step by step," said Dr. Keith Tansey coordinating the medical center new interdisciplinary and interdepartmental clinical program for spinal cord and Assistant Professor of Neurology and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Patricia Winchester, president of the physical therapy, said, "The functional results based on body weight supported training tape on how to improve the efficiency of the muscles.

Our findings support the theory that education drives of walking on the tape, the reorganization of the spinal cord and brain. "The support of body weight reduces the problem of body position in patients during the month of March. Lokomat moves the legs in a normal physiological model of the spinal cord to learn again allows walk. "Mr. Benefield, using some of his weapons, used Lokomat recovered for a month, and said he could already see the results in lower extremities. He has gained muscle tone and sensation in the legs, swelling of the ankles and calves away, and he has more mobility. "I was not there get these results with walking training manual," said Benefield. "It's just night and day difference . He could walk for hours if you will. The treatment was very good, and it feels so good when it is released. "The researchers are recruiting patients with spinal cord injuries to participate in technical studies Lokomat.

Must Appropriate patient mobility in the hips have to allow the knee and ankle, the standing position. The patients are not eligible for the study if they have a history of fractures of long bones, have pressure ulcers, irritated by the robot exoskeleton, weigh more than 250 pounds or high blood pressure.

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