Ekso is a portable bionic exoskeleton designed to perform standing and walking in people with lower extremity weakness or total paralysis, as in the case of complete spinal cord injuries. Within the complex structure of the apparatus, the Ekso contains a number of receptors that activate motors of the hip and knee, providing the correct step pattern. The movement is supervised by a specialist physiotherapist using a hand controller.All of our physiotherapists have been trained by Ekso Bionics for optimal use of this rehabilitation tool with our patients. The patient must undergo an initial assessment in which a physiotherapist determine if it is suitable or not to use the device. As physiotherapists perform an anamnesis, we test spasticity (Ashworth), range of joint motion, strength test and a skin checking. We also take into account the degree of osteoporosis, injury level, height, weight to prepare a report criteria to include the exoskeleton in the treatment. The therapist will adjust the exoskeleton for each user and determine whether the patient meets the criteria for inclusion / exclusion for use.
“The best feeling while I’m using the Ekso is to stand up and to look people face to face. Although I’m a wheelchair user, I can say that every day I’m walking. And that’s great”.
In Step by Step we combine conventional treatment with the use of Ekso. This allows us to activate and to strength the muscles preserved (importance of the latissimus dorsi), facilitating and accelerating the learning process of balance and weight shift (activating different muscles depending on the level and type of injury) necessary for the proper training with Ekso, and thus achieving an efficient pattern gait, using a walker or crutches.
Our clients perceive working with the ekso a decrease of spasticity and muscle spasms that help them improve transfers, activities of daily living. They also feel a better intestinal function, improvement to cardiopulmonary level, etc. In addition, the activity of standing and walking again is a positive emotional impact for them.