Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19

Thread: Learning to walk again /AUTOAMBULATOR!

  1. #1
    Senior Member Max's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Montreal,Province of Quebec, CANADA
    Posts
    15,036

    Learning to walk again /AUTOAMBULATOR!

    Learning to walk again

    High-tech apparatus helps rehab patients get back on their feet

    BY SUSAN JENKS
    FLORIDA TODAY

    Strapped into a harness and suspended several inches above a treadmill, Mark Buchweitz definitely looks uncomfortable.


    Mark Buchweitz takes his first steps on HealthSouth's AutoAmbulator at the HealthSouth Sea Pines Rehabilitation Center in Melbourne. Image © 2004, Emily Barnes, FLORIDA TODAY
    But within minutes, with the help of robotic braces attached above his knee and at the ankle, the Valkyria resident hits his stride, one long step after another.

    For the first time since a severe car accident two years ago, Buchweitz is walking at a comfortable gait, the robotic "arms" guiding his range of motion.

    "It's pretty neat," the 43-year-old Buchweitz said, describing the AutoAmbulator, developed by HealthSouth Corp. the past five years. "It feels like normal walking."

    During a recent 35-minute session at HealthSouth's Sea Pines Rehabilitation Hospital in Melbourne, Buchweitz worked out on the device, designed and patented by the Birmingham, Ala., corporation to help rehabilitate trauma patients, stroke patients and others whose medical conditions severely impair their ability to walk.

    The idea for its development initially grew out of spinal cord injuries, where researchers discovered through animal research that the brain can reorganize and rewire itself after injury, according to Dr. Richard Senelick, a clinical associate professor of neurology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.

    "We used to be naive enough to think that, once injured, the brain and spinal cord were beyond repair," said Senelick, who also is a medical director at Health South's Rehabilitation Institute of San Antonio. "Now we know it is capable of rewiring and tapping into other pathways in the brain."

    That concept, known as neuroplasticity, provides the scientific underpinning for mechanized ambulation or walking and the machine, which is a new mode of therapy in HealthSouth's rehabilitation repertoire. For now, the device is only available in Brevard at Sea Pines.

    When performing tasks, the AutoAmbulator requires, "you are suspending the body upright earlier than a patient might be able to himself -- and putting the body through the gait-walking system," Senelick said.


    Friend Roger Peck congratulates Mark Buchweitz after he completed his workout on the AutoAmbulator at the HealthSouth Sea Pines Rehabilitation Center in Melbourne. Image © 2004, Emily Barnes, FLORIDA TODAY
    That, in turn, "stimulates the nervous system, driving its repair" more quickly than passive walking, in which physical therapists manually move a patient's legs, Senelick and others, said.

    So far, AutoAmbulators have been placed in 14 of the company's 103 freestanding hospitals nationwide since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the machine's use in 2002, according to HealthSouth officials.

    Sea Pines received a machine in late May and Buchweitz is one of a handful of patients to try it.
    http://www.floridatoday.com/!NEWSROO...yH0706AUTO.htm

  2. #2
    Thanks Max.

    "We used to be naive enough to think that, once injured, the brain and spinal cord were beyond repair,"...."Now we know it is capable of rewiring and tapping into other pathways in the brain."

  3. #3
    Senior Member Max's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Montreal,Province of Quebec, CANADA
    Posts
    15,036

    Healthcast: Machine Helps Spinal Injury Patients

    Healthcast: Machine Helps Spinal Injury Patients
    The following Healthcast report by medical editor Marilyn Brooks first aired July 9, 2004, on Channel 4 Action News at 5 p.m.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    For the last three years, Megan Greene has lived in a wheelchair. She hopes a machine called the AutoAmbulator will get her back on her feet again. There are only 14 of the machines in the U.S., and one of them is at Healthsouth in Harmarville.

    Greene: "The hardest part is that you want so badly to be able to do it by yourself and you just have to realize it's going to take time."

    She was just 13 when she was thrown from a horse. She landed on her back and blacked out.

    Greene: "When I came back to, I couldn't feel my legs and I couldn't feel my arms."

    She has an incomplete spinal cord injury. Feeling and function quickly returned to her arms, but not her legs. She can sense pressure, hot, and cold but she can't walk -- at least, not yet.

    Chris Venus, senior therapist: "She has less to work with, so she has more work to do to get back to normal."

    The machine supports Greene and gives her the right posture to walk, while robotic legs reinforce a normal symmetrical walking pattern. Sensors track her functions and constantly monitor power and speed, according to her physical requirements.

    This machine is not just for those with spinal cord injuries. Physical therapists are also workin

    http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/...87/detail.html

  4. #4
    Senior Member Max's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Montreal,Province of Quebec, CANADA
    Posts
    15,036

    Device helps people learn to walk again

    Device helps people learn to walk again


    Photo Gallery

    click to enlarge

    Megan Greene, 16, of Plum
    Jolene Bottor/Tribune-Review

    click to enlarge

    Scott Rayburg, 19, of Greensburg, gets strapped in
    Jolene Bottor/Tribune-Review

    click to enlarge

    Rayburg demonstrates the device
    Jolene Bottor/Tribune-Review



    AutoAmbulator

    The device, developed by HealthSouth Harmarville Rehabilitation Hospital in Indiana Township, is used by patients who have difficulty walking.

    It allows patients to contribute to the movement but provides additional force to generate the movement.

    Synchronized robotic leg braces allow patients to walk safely, utilizing normal gait patterns.

    It is designed to allow therapists to safely adjust the amount of weight bearing to patients' individual rehabilitation plans.

    The speed of walking can be varied to patients' tolerance and gradually increased to reproduce gait patterns that simulate normal walking.

    To eliminate risk of injury, safety features automatically shut down the machine when an adverse event occurs, such as severe spasms or if the patient's feet improperly strike the treadmill.
    For details, go to www.autoambulator.com or call HealthSouth Harmarville Rehabilitation Hospital at (412) 828-1300.



    Web Links

    AutoAmbulator


    Tools Print this article
    E-mail this article
    Subscribe to this paper
    Larger / Smaller Text


    By Rob Amen
    TRIBUNE-REVIEW NEWS SERVICE
    Monday, July 12, 2004


    After Scott Rayburg was seriously injured in an automobile accident in Ohio last year, surgeons gave him no more than a 15 percent chance of walking again.
    "I was a little shocked," said Rayburg, 19. "Regardless of what the doctors said, I was going to walk again."

    On Friday, the former Lower Burrell resident was laboring on a treadmill for a roomful of onlookers at the HealthSouth Harmarville Rehabilitation Hospital in Indiana Township.

    Thanks to the AutoAmbulator, people like Rayburg are learning to walk again. The machine, developed by HealthSouth and used at the hospital for the past two months, suspends patients in a harness while robotic braces move their legs across a treadmill.





    A computer monitors the speed patients walk and the percentage of body weight they're carrying on their legs.

    The mac
    http://pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-.../s_202953.html

  5. #5
    Senior Member Max's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Montreal,Province of Quebec, CANADA
    Posts
    15,036

    New Therapeutic Device

    New Therapeutic DeviceDeveloped exclusively for Healthsouth, the sophisticated treadmill, called the Autoambulator, helps patients who have limited walking and balancing ability.

    The machine is designed to gradually reduce weight support from a harness and go from a person simulating walking to actual walking.

    A computer uses information gathered from sensors to track a patient's physical requirements and adjust power and speed.

    Occupational Therapist Director Michael LaMothe says, "It should be fantastic. It's state-of-the-art, cutting edge technology. It's the only robotic system on the market. It eliminates a lot of staff in order to do it."

    Creator Gary West came up with the idea for the machine after working with Superman Christopher Reeve, who suffered from a spinal cord injury.


    http://www.wvva.com/News/index.php?ID=4292

  6. #6
    I was put on a AUTOAMBULATOR at a rehab in P.A. They did not know how to work it. It is a shame that a machine that can do so much is being wasted at this rehab that i went to. I wrote a letter to see is there was anything i can do so far no response. anty
    Be always determined in Life and Love

  7. #7
    Senior Member mr_coffee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    6,030
    I also was on the autoamulator in Pittsburg and I didn't like it. It shut off after 3 steps becuse if you have the slightest foot drop it will stop the machine. Even after they braced me it still would stop the machine. So at max i would get 5 mins of constant walking i was lucky.

    I'm trying it again actually in a few days! There happens to be a autoambulator at healthsouth i'm now going too. Hopefully this one works better for me
    Injured:10-16-04
    C7/C8, T1 incomplete;


    For stalkers convenience:
    Blog:
    http://www.ordealsonwheels.com/
    Facebook:
    http://www.facebook.com/#!/coryssanchez
    Progress:
    http://photobucket.com/albums/b290/swooty/
    My drawings:
    http://kanvases.com/sites/corysanchez/home

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    CHICAGO, IL 60655
    Posts
    14
    How, If At All, Is This Different Than The Lokomat?

  9. #9
    Senior Member mr_coffee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    6,030
    From the videos i've seen of the lokomat and what i've experienced so far on the autoambulator, it seems the lokomat puts u in a much more natural gaite. Its alot smoother and I think its set up alot better than the autoambulator. I've heard alot of good things about the lokomat and not so many good things about the autoamulator from people who actually went on it.

    I went to the one in Pittsburg, hammerville health south and now i'm going to the one in State college. I actually had to tell the people down here why the machine kept shutting off. It seems the PTs arn't properly trained to work this type of equipment.

    I really liked using the lite gait, when your just in a harness over a tread mill and a therapist is moving ur leg or legs if you can't. For some reason after doing that for 5 minutes I could really tell a difference, but when these machines do it for me, i can't tell much at all after walking at a fast pace for 20 minutes on it.
    Last edited by mr_coffee; 09-08-2006 at 10:24 PM.
    Injured:10-16-04
    C7/C8, T1 incomplete;


    For stalkers convenience:
    Blog:
    http://www.ordealsonwheels.com/
    Facebook:
    http://www.facebook.com/#!/coryssanchez
    Progress:
    http://photobucket.com/albums/b290/swooty/
    My drawings:
    http://kanvases.com/sites/corysanchez/home

  10. #10
    Senior Member patd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Boise, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    823
    I'm curious what the amulator feels like. The repetition has to be good.

    I've been using my own version for two and a half years now. It started out feeling like, well , I couldn't feel a thing and my body was just limp. The interesting thing, though, was that each and every session on it saw a new and different feeling. And this is true today! I mean now I can feel every muscle group and they get so tired! I can feel the weight being taken of the harness and through the feet.

    My theory is that you have to drive each effort with your brain and tie it to the motion; very mentally demanding. But after more than 2 yeays, my steps in the pool are starting to really work!

    My small clip showing my setup isn't loading. I'll try another way. Pat

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •