Monday, September 28, 2020

Tendo AB's Exoskeleton (Hand Unit)

This article in Health Europa describes an exoskeleton that could offer greater independence to people with high spinal cord injuries.  A modified space technology designed by Tendo AB, the new exoskeleton is a minimalist system for users with compromised hand strength or motor control.  The technology may be expanded to focus on other limbs, such as the elbow or knee.  Since the exoskeleton "(uses) the body’s signals as a source," it will be interesting to see what beneficial effects the device might have as a therapy tool.  There are many possibilities here; the hand technology alone has the potential to change many lives for the better.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Graduate Max Ahlquist's Recovery Story

 Max Ahlquist was paralyzed in a rafting accident, but he has had a miraculous recovery and continues to work hard in his physical therapy.  His positive story is one worth sharing, like the news that he has graduated as co-valedictorian and is now moving on to college.  Congratulations, Max! 

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Using KAFOs and a Mobility Scooter (Video)

Today's video is posted in response to a question someone asked about mobility.  When starting to use KAFOs (knee-ankle-foot orthoses) and trying to navigate a college campus, I was blessed to be provided with a mobility scooter.  This video shows how well the KAFOs worked with the scooter, even when I was relatively new to long leg braces.  Between the two, I gained an immense amount of independence.  (This clip is also featured in my video "6 Years in 6 Minutes," where you can see how the scooter works similarly outside on different surfaces.)

Scooters are not always an option if you have a spinal cord injury.  I could not have used one in the first year post-SCI due to the extensive spinal damage caused by the original accident.  As time has passed, a scooter has been a great device for me.  It's especially nice to be able to swivel the seat and not have to avoid a footrest when standing.  The scooter is easier on the wrists and shoulders than a manual wheelchair is, and can go over more terrain without trouble.  Several types of scooters give increased accessibility because they are smaller, as well.  The prices of scooters vary widely and you may find foundations or other groups able to help with the cost.  

A scooter is not an option or best choice for everybody with an injury or neurological condition.  Obviously each user who does try a scooter will find disadvantages and advantages for the individual situation.  But for those who are curious about life with KAFOs and wondering about possibilities, maybe this video will be a help.  

Note: if you have a spinal cord injury and are considering a mobility scooter, make sure to research the size and padding of the scooter's seat and foot area.