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Helen Hayes Hospital
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1-888-70-REHAB

Route 9W
West Haverstraw, NY 10993
Man walking in Exoskeleton
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Exoskeleton

Exoskeleton-fullImagine someone not being able to walk for years and then suddenly a groundbreaking piece of equipment comes along and allows that person to walk again. That is what the ReWalk is capable of and HHH is one of a select few rehab facilities nationwide utilizing this state-or-the-art equipment.

The ReWalk began in Israel and has since gone international, developing a new, innovative technology that combines robotics with human assistance to make walking possible when previously impossible. The technology includes a battery-housed backpack plus two robotic uprights that are worn around the individual’s legs. While using two crutches for balance, the individual is able to shift his or her body from side to side. This critical weight shift provides the command for the ReWalk to detect which leg is taking a step and which leg is staying straight.

But what about going from a sitting position to a standing position? What about doing stairs? No problem! The individual wears a small wristband that looks like a watch, but functions like a remote. It has three buttons for multiple commands: sit, stand, walk, ascend stairs, and descend stairs. By using this wrist band the individual can independently transition between all modes to access his or her home and community.

Benefits of exoskeleton therapy and use include restored independence, increased psychological well-being, improved overall health and fitness and reduced complications from spinal cord injury, including thinning of the bones, pressure sores and bowel and bladder disorders.

HHH physical therapy staff are trained and educated on this new shift in physical therapy practice. Any adult who has some type of leg impairment that impacts his or her upright mobility can use the ReWalk. The individual needs appropriately functioning hands, arms and shoulders. Each patient must be seen by a physician for approval to use the ReWalk.