The Hunterdon Medical Center in Raritan Township, New Jersey has recently employed a new piece of technology to assist traumatic brain injury and stroke survivors in regaining mobility and improving their walking skills, a My Central New Jersey article reported. The Center purchased the NESS L300 foot drop system for $20,000 last month as part of their neurological rehabilitation program, the article noted.
Foot drop is a condition that many stroke and central nervous system injury victims suffer from. The condition creates challenges for patients who must relearn how to walk after their injuries. The NESS L300 is attached to the patient’s leg and uses wireless technology to communicate to therapists the specific issues with the patient’s gait. Electrodes in the device then deliver almost imperceptible electric stimulation to certain nerves and muscles to get them to contract, thereby improving the patient’s walking ability.
Doctors have reported remarkable results in patients who have been working with the device for just a matter of weeks. Hunterdon’s senior physical therapist Tara Szwandrak said, ‘After eight weeks of using the system, some patients can increase 34 percent of their walking speed,’ the article reported. ‘The technology is appropriate for a broad range of conditions, including stroke, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and incomplete spinal cord injury,’ Szwandrak added.
Patients who have worked with the system reported positive results. They said they experienced more balance and confidence while walking during and after treatments with the NESS L300. Before the new technology was purchased, stroke and brain injury patients were fitted with molded leg braces, which proved clunky and not nearly as effective as the electrical stimulation method.
Another physical therapist at Hunterdon, Jeanne Stockwell, said that her patients are ‘able to get up, move, exercise, and get back to life as normal,” the article added. Five of the Hunterdon Medical Center’s Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy offices in New Jersey carry the NESS system.
Sroka-Holzmann. (March 29, 2010) ‘Hunterdon Medical Center offers new technology for stroke, neurological patients.’ Retrieved on March 30, 2010 from the My Central Jersey Web site: http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20100329/NEWS/3290351/-1/newsfron…