New High-Tech Ankle Therapy Gets Paralyzed Stroke Patients Up and Walking

New High-Tech Ankle Therapy Gets Paralyzed Stroke Patients Up and Walking

 

MANHASSET, N.Y., Aug. 3, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A study published in NeuroRehabilitation by Feinstein Institute for Medical Research

A wide range of robots is being developed to serve in a variety of roles within the medical community. This amazing new technology is now a significant factor in medicine, and the field of assistive and therapeutic robotic medical devices is expanding quickly.

Of particular interest here at UFAI are the new rehabilitation robots that can play a crucial role in helping patients regain their walking ability after suffering a stroke.

Specialized robotic devices help patients rehabilitate from serious conditions, such as strokes. A primary mode of recovery for stroke patients is exercise, and the use of rehabilitation robots accelerate therapeutic results by improving balance, walking and other motor functions.

Robotic ankle therapy while seated improves walking

In a recent report, researchers studied the use of robotic assistance in 29 patients with foot drop and walking handicaps caused by a stroke. They received their robotic treatment three times a week for six weeks. The robotic devices were attached at the knee and foot, while the patients sat in front of a video monitor wired to the device. The patients attempted to use their legs and ankles to move their feet in ways that would cause a cursor on the screen to move toward a target.

The interactive robotic device moved the paralyzed foot and ankle when the patient could not. It was active when it was needed, but got out of the way when the patient could make their own movements.

The patients were divided into three groups based on their walking abilities. At the end of the six-week study, the high and medium function groups reported substantial improvements in walking speed. The low functioning group reported significant improvement in their balance. A three-month follow-up showed continued improvement for everyone in the study.

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