Exoskeleton allows Edmonton spinal cord injury patients to walk again

Denny Ross says taking steps for the first time, thanks to new technology at University of Alberta, was nothing short of amazing.

Denny Ross is one of a few patients part of a unique University of Alberta pilot study using a special mechanized equipment. Photo Stephanie Dubois/Metro.

Denny Ross is one of a few patients part of a unique University of Alberta pilot study using a special mechanized equipment. Photos Stephanie Dubois/Metro.

By Stephanie Dubois, Metro News September 16, 2014

Ross, 35, is part of a unique study in Canada that allows individuals with spinal cord injuries to walk again.

“Four years ago, we were looking at a stand-up wheelchair and now I’m walking. It’s amazing,” he said.

Denny Ross walking in a ReWalk HKFAO.

Denny Ross walking in a ReWalk HKFAO.

Ross became paraplegic after breaking his back in a motor vehicle crash while driving to Conklin for work. But thanks to ReWalk Robotics, the mechanized exoskeleton allows individuals like Ross to stand up, walk and go up stairs.

“It’s almost like riding on a horse. I think of those rodeos, riding on a horse and basically balancing upper body. It really trains balance,” said Jaynie Yang, professor of physical therapy at U of A.

“At times it was frustrating, but [Denny] just had to keep at it. He’s doing really well, we hardly help him now.”

Two participants are also partaking in the year-long study until further funding is provided. Yang wants to extend the pilot project to see the effects on the human body and improvements.

The ReWalk device was purchased by the Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Centre (Northern Alberta) Society, and was leased to the University for $1.

Source Metro News

Also see
Topics in functional recovery and spinal cord injury – posted by First Steps Spinal Cord Injury Wellness Centre, Regina Saskatchewan

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