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Rehab & Physical Therapy

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Robotic Walking Program

WakeMed Rehabilitation Hospital is one of just 22 facilities in the United States approved to use the Ekso™ wearable robot (exoskeleton) to help people who have lower-extremity weakness or paralysis stand and/or walk and enjoy the benefits of being vertical.

Ekso Benefits

  • Weight bearing – Stimulates bone density and decreases tone and/or spasms
  • Upright posture – Facilitates better bowel and bladder emptying
  • Vertical position – Facilitates improved cardiopulmonary function
  • Controlled movement pattern – Allows the ability to walk in a normal movement pattern
  • Neutral posture – Allows the patient to work on balance and postural control in a neutral posture
  • Upright posture & lower extremity range of motion: Decreased neuropathic pain
  • Standing position: Decreased pressure on ischial tuberosities
  • Upright posture & gait pattern: The joy of walking and looking people in the eye!

Who Can Use Ekso?

Ekso users must:

  • Be between 5’2” and 6’2”
  • Weigh less than 220 lbs.
  • Have a hip width less than 16.5”
  • Be independent with sitting balance and transfers to chairs with no arms
  • Be able to use a walker or crutches to balance
  • Be in a standing program or pass a standing frame trial

Joint range-of-motion limitations, pregnancy, colostomy, deep vein thrombosis, osteoporosis, skin breakdowns, certain cognitive impairments, uncontrolled spasticity and other conditions can prevent a person from qualifying for the WakeMed Robotic Walking Program. That is why a thorough phone interview is the first step to determine if a person qualifies for the program.

Getting Started

For information about Ekso and the WakeMed Robotic Walking Program, please contact Janis McLaughlin, manager, WakeMed Outpatient Rehabilitation, at jamclaughlin@wakemed.org or 919-350-5175. To schedule a telephone screening, call WakeMed Outpatient Rehabilitation at the Health Park at 919-350-8347.

 

 

 

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