LiteGait Therapy System Helps Patients Along the Road to Recovery
Getting back on your feet following surgery, illness or a traumatic injury can be scary. Those first few steps feel like a marathon, requiring all of your strength and concentration to complete.
In 2014, Wilcox Memorial Hospital added the LiteGait therapy system to its rehabilitation services, becoming the first on Kauai to have this equipment available to patients.
LiteGait uses body-weight supported training to provide patients a safe, supported environment where they can learn (or re-learn) basic walking skills.
“LiteGait is a specific lifting system that incorporates body-weight support as a means to provide improved walking ability for patients that is safe and comfortable,” says Jesse Pasag, staff physical therapist and orthopedic clinical specialist at Wilcox Memorial Hospital.
According to Pasag, body-weight supported gait training, or functional training, uses a mechanical system and a harness to reduce the patient’s weight and control balance and posture during therapy.
The LiteGait is a specialized system that allows the patient to travel over ground, as well as over a treadmill.
“Using the LiteGait over a treadmill is wonderful because now we are able to have our patients practice walking on an endless walkway,” Pasag says. “We don’t have to worry about having to stop the patients’ walking because they came to the end of a walkway and now have to turn around.”
In comparison to traditional methods of therapy that required two to three staff members to lift patients and provide similar treatment, the unique harness design of the LiteGait improves patient safety, as the patient is totally supported and the risk of a fall or having to be lowered to the floor is completely eliminated.
In addition, LiteGait provides the therapist with an extra set of hands during therapy sessions, minimizing risk for injury and assisting with progression of leg movement.“The old way was slow, and not very efficient for both the therapist and the patient. The patient’s progress would also be slowed due to their fear of falling,” Pasag says.
“With LiteGait, the hospital is able to create an ideal environment for treating patients with various conditions and functional levels, including those with severely compromised balance or mobility and those who must maintain limited weight bearing on their legs.”
So far, Pasag says the rehabilitation therapy team at Wilcox has been able to use the LiteGait system for patients who are recovering from stroke, lower leg amputations and those who recently underwent total hip arthroplasty.
Wilcox also has a pediatric LiteGait that therapists have been using to assist with keiki who are having difficulty walking due to specific neuromuscular issues.
"We are always looking for new equipment and techniques that will benefit our patients in the recovery and rehabilitation process,” Pasag says. “With the LiteGait system, we are able to offer therapy to a wider range of patients and do so in a safer environment for both the patient and the therapist.”
Published on: March 16, 2015