The Hutchinson Clinic was the first place in Kansas to fit a patient for the Robotic Exoskeleton ReWalk. Joey Ralph of Hutchinson sustained a horrible injury when he fell 30 feet off a balcony and was told he would never walk again. The Hutch Clinic fitted Joey with the ReWalk, enabling him to stand upright. The robotic suit allows the user to turn and walk through powered hip and knee motions. The suit is controlled by a wristwatch, enabling the patient to press a button to stand up, sit and walk, with the assistance of two hand crutches.
After the accident, Ralph was paralyzed from the bellybutton down. He eventually was able to regain sensation in his lower body, but not enough to walk on his own. The goal of the exoskeleton is to provide health benefits for Ralph, and all patients who use it, potentially giving them the ability to walk again without any assistance.
Rewalk benefiting patients at the Hutchinson Clinic
Patients can use the machine during their therapy sessions conducted by trained and certified physical therapists.
The Hutchinson Clinic will be the second certified facility with ReWalk in Kansas. The therapists will earn 15 hours of continuing education credits, which will be applied to the 40 hours needed every two years.
For people like Ralph, patients will have to complete advanced training after 20 to 40 one-hour sessions with the ReWalk.
Through the help of the Physical Therapy department at the Hutchinson Clinic and the use of the ReWalk, patients who are suffering from a disability similar to Joey's, have the opportunity to improve their quality of life and potentially come closer to walking on their own.
More About ReWalk
ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with spinal cord injury to stand upright, walk, turn, and climb and descend stairs. The system allows independent, controlled walking will mimicking the natural motion pattern of the legs. The ReWalk is the only FDA cleared exoskeleton for rehabilitation and personal use in the United States.