Body Weight Support Gait Lower Extremities
Spinal injuries can cause life-changing disruption to the lives of the injured party and their family. The road to regaining mobility and independence in the wake of such a devastating disability can be a long and difficult one. But innovative technological advancements like the Indego Exoskeleton make it possible for people with lower-limb disability from spinal injury or stroke to walk again.
Available as a therapeutic option at Brooks Rehabilitation, the Indego Therapy Exoskeleton affords such gait-impaired patients the potential for recovering independent mobility. The Indego Exoskeleton is a cutting-edge lower-limb orthosis with a modular design that helps overcome paralysis and weakness in the legs. Under the guidance of the experienced therapists at Brooks Rehab, qualified patients could experience substantial results from a therapeutic program including the Indego Exoskeleton.
How the Indego Exoskeleton Works
The Indego Therapy Exoskeleton is a powered lower-limb assistive orthosis consisting of five components. It’s fully customizable, and can be comfortably fitted to a patient within minutes. The exoskeleton surrounds and supports the legs and lower back, allowing individuals with limited or no lower mobility to stand upright and walk during therapy sessions. (A similar device, the Indego Personal, is designed for home and personal use outside of a therapeutic setting.)
The Indego Therapy Exoskeleton features intuitive controls and flexible construction that help stroke and spinal cord injury patients — as well as those with other qualifying gait disabilities — to stand and walk with a gait as close to natural as possible. The Indego Exoskeleton weighs just 27 pounds, and can support patients weighing up to 250 pounds.
The patient has the exoskeleton strapped to their legs and lower back. The Indego Therapy Exoskeleton detects the patient’s movements using an onboard computer, and its software gives real-time feedback on gait quality, number of steps, and support level through an intuitive, easy-to-understand app interface.
The app’s user-friendly design allows a therapist to quickly configure, customize and alter settings and modes to provide the best program for each patient. The app also allows data export, which is crucial for tracking a patient’s progress. The Variable Assist mode offers advanced gait therapy options founded on motor-learning ideologies, allowing the clinician to tailor treatment precisely for the patient’s specific issues and optimal results.
Battery-powered motors in the exoskeleton’s knee and hip joints support and amplify the patient’s leg movements. The Indego Exoskeleton also uses electrical stimulation to improve the circulation and strength of weakened or paralyzed muscles. Patients can interchangeably use the Indego Exoskeleton with a wheelchair.
The exoskeleton is easy to disassemble. Patients can put it on unaided, and sit comfortably in a chair while wearing the Indego Therapy Exoskeleton, giving them far more independence and encouragement than previous exoskeletal technologies.
The combination of new hardware and software technologies and patient experience make the Indego Exoskeleton a true therapeutic device. The Indego Therapy Exoskeleton is adaptable to provide support at all stages of recovery, from tentative steps to assisted walking. The Indego Exoskeleton comes in two versions: personal and therapy versions.
Applications of Indego Exoskeleton
Lower-limb disability or immobility can result from a variety of injuries or illnesses. The Indego Therapy Exoskeleton was designed to address several movement and gait issues, and aid in providing the most productive therapy for optimal results.
Spinal Cord Injury Treatment
Damage to the spinal cord can disrupt the messages between the brain and the lower back and limbs, resulting in varying degrees of paralysis. Spinal cord rehab can consist of a range or combination of therapies, up to and including surgery.
When it comes to recovering one’s mobility after a spinal cord injury, the Indego Therapy Exoskeleton takes advantage of both generations of medical advancement and leading-edge technology to offer a viable opportunity for optimal outcomes.
Through physical support and real-time feedback, Indego Exoskeleton helps patients re-learn how to stand and walk, providing a solid, adaptable foundation and efficient therapy tool. The Gravity Reduction mode on the Indego allows a clinician to minimize weight on the patient’s legs, allowing them to move more easily through the gait cycle and progress through their spinal cord therapy program.
A stroke is caused by reducing or interrupting blood supply to a part of the brain, preventing the brain tissue from receiving oxygen and essential nutrients. Within minutes, brain cells can begin to die, causing brain damage, paralysis, or any one of a host of other complications.
The Indego Therapy Exoskeleton provides useful, progressive therapeutic options for stroke recovery patients in a variety of ways:
- Gravity reduction: The Indego reduces strain by taking the patient’s weight off of their legs.
- Stance support: The Indego’s adjustable settings allow the therapist to influence the patient’s stance while standing and walking, preventing buckling, falling and hyperextension during exercise.
- Auditory feedback: The clinician can set step length goals, to help the patient to attain a more even gait pattern. The patient receives auditory feedback in real-time as they work to achieve these goals. This feedback encourages them as it trains them to recognize improper gait patterns.
Indego Therapy Exoskeleton Features
The Indego Therapy Exoskeleton is designed from the ground up with a patient’s comfort, therapeutic progress, and recovery in mind. By incorporating a thoughtful physical design and innovative digital technologies, the Indego represents the latest in assistive physical therapy for patients with lower-limb mobility issues. Every element of the Indego Therapy Exoskeleton is geared toward delivering a better experience, and a better outcome, for the patient.
The Indego Exoskeleton can be worn and tolerated by a majority of stroke recovery and spinal cord injury therapy patients weighing up to nearly ten times its slight 29 pounds. The patient never feels like they have to “drag around” a heavy therapeutic apparatus for the length of their therapy.
The Indego Therapy Exoskeleton’s five physical components come together so easily and seamlessly that the patient can assemble it, put it on and even sit comfortably while wearing the device.
Ease of Use
The exoskeleton’s user interface was designed not only to be easy to understand and navigate, but also to provide both auditory feedback and real-time data. The therapist can constantly customize the Indego to the patient’s needs, and the patient can receive both encouragement and updates on their progress.
Qualifications of Indego Therapy Exoskeleton
The support, feedback and gait training the Indego Exoskeleton provides can help address various lower-limb disabilities due to injury or illness. Patients who have suffered a spinal cord injury or stroke with resulting mobility or gait issues should consult their physician or contact Brooks Rehabilitation to find out if a program including the Indego Therapy Exoskeleton for physical therapy could aid in their practical recovery.
The Indego Therapy Exoskeleton is designed to be operated under the guidance of qualified and certified clinicians and physical or occupational therapists.
Rehabilitating individuals with lower-limb paralysis from a stroke, spinal injury or other illness takes time and patience, but newly available technologies can enhance recovery for optimal outcomes. Contact Brooks Rehabilitation today to learn more about the Indego Therapy Exoskeleton and other physical therapy, stroke recovery and gait-training programs from our experienced and knowledgeable staff.