Our medical center is equipped with latest technological state-of-the-art devices. Among those, upper extremities robot for patients who cannot use their arms and hands effectively and walking robot for patients with walking abnormalities are two high-end devices which have ensured a breakthrough in our rehabilitation services.
Robotic rehabilitation is electromechanical computer-assisted therapy devices which improve the recovery by supporting and enhancing the functions, report the course of disorder, and make the patient enjoy the treatment to some extent.
Robotic rehabilitations are divided into two in accordance with their purpose of use:
- Walking robots
- Arm and hand robots
The most common and developed robot in the world is the Hocoma’s Lokomat which ensures highly intensive physiological gait rehabilitation for severely impaired neurological patients. Our patients can benefit the advantages of Lokomat in Fizikon Medical Center. Lokomat is used for gait abnormalities resulting from brain, spinal cord, neurological, muscular, and bone disorders. It trains the patient and improve her/his walking. During rehabilitation, patients need to be challenged at and beyond their individual capabilities. It also assesses the effectiveness of the therapy by measuring muscle strength, joint range of motion, and spasticity before and after the treatment by means of objective numerical values.
The patient monitors her/his walking on the monitor located in front of her/his while s/he moves on the treadmill. The images on the virtual monitor motivate the patient and accelerates the treatment. During the robot-assisted walking, patient is assisted to correct her/his gait and move to a normal walking pattern by displaying her/his walking abnormalities.
There are two different robots available in the Lokomat:
- Pediatric (child) robot
- Adult robot
The reason why different robots are used for children and adults is that children differ from adults in terms of the size of their body size and different gait patterns. It may not be adequate for gait training to use the same robot by only adjusting its size.
Gait training for child patient with the Lokomat
The Lokomat uses robotic parts to help kids move their legs during walking therapy. During the therapy on the Lokomat, your child uses a harness that connects to an overhead suspension system and treadmill. A physiotherapist positions your child’s legs in robotic leg braces that connect to a frame. Therapist adjusts the amount of weight that your child must support with their legs and how much help the robotic leg braces provide as your child walks on the treadmill. As adjustments are made, physical therapists help your child get used to the different levels of training. The Lokomat moves your child’s legs in a normal walking pattern. S/he can follow her/his walking on the monitor. While robot moves your child’s legs as if they are in a normal walking pattern, responses of child’s body to these movement are transmitted to the computer by means of sensors. This process helps by means of graphics based on the data retrieved from sensors to determine the stages of challenges experienced by the child.
Gait training for adult patient with the Lokomat
Patient watches her/his movements on the monitor while walking under the watch of a physiotherapist. That the robot makes the patient perform normal-like walking and stimulate the centers in the brain constantly is a remarkable advantage of the system. Since the patient walks in different environments in the virtual environment monitor, s/he continues to walk without becoming bored during the therapy. Signals that are received from the legs moving with the help of robot and sent to the brain helps the improvement of restructuring and adaptation skills named neuroplasticity in the brain. Therefore, the recovery process speeds up, and the walking transforms to a near-normal pattern. Robot-assisted walking leads to an obvious improvement in the walking functions of the patient who could move her/his legs to some extent. It cannot provide any functional improvement in the patients with no movement in their legs due to complete injury in the spinal cord, however it helps reduce the spasticity, boost the metabolism, and restore the respiratory and circulatory system.
The walking robot is useful in these disorders:
- Stroke (Hemiplegia)
- MS (Multiple sclerosis)
- CP (Cerebral palsy)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Total hip replacement
- Knee disorders
- Myopathy (muscular disorders)
- Weaknesses in the leg muscles due to various reasons
Arm and Hand Robot
These are the devices that are used for the patients who have loss in their range of motion and muscular strength to regain their arm and hand functions. Our patients can benefit from our high-end arm robot ArmeoSpring by Hocoma which ensures self-initiated repetitive arm and hand therapy in an extensive 3D workspace. By providing arm weight support, the ArmeoSpring enables patients to use any remaining motor functions and encourages them to achieve a higher number of reach and grasp movements based on specific therapy goals. This arm robot allows simultaneous arm and hand training in an extensive 3D workspace. Our patients regain more independence in their daily life by using their shoulder, elbow and hand by performing exercises on motivating game-like Augmented Performance Feedback exercises that were designed to train core movement patterns which are commonly used in activities of daily living. The ArmeoSpring precisely records how patients perform during their therapy sessions.
The ergonomic and adjustable exoskeleton of the ArmeoSpring embraces the whole arm, from shoulder to hand, and counterbalances the weight of the patient’s arm. It is the most common exoskeleton robot used in the arm and hand rehabilitation. It ensures the independent arm and hand training for the patients with intermediate and severe disorders. It motivates the patient in the arm and hand training. It reports the improvements by analyzing them objectively.
Our ArmeoSpring robot has the instrumented hand orthosis module ManovoSpring for patients with therapy goals focusing on hand rehabilitation. It ensures the patients with severe disorders to move their hands in a three-dimensional wide area. It was designed to train grasping function for patients with impaired hand functions due to strokes, traumatic brain injuries or other neurological disorders.
Exercise of putting apples into a market cart with the ManovoSpring in the virtual reality screen.
The arm and hand robot is useful in these disorders:
- CP (Cerebral palsy)
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Anoxic brain damages
- Neurologic disorders of arm and hand
In the Rehabilitation Robotics Unit, patients generally attend the therapy, though it may vary based on the patient, for three sessions a week during a 25 – 30-minute program.