Lokomat Robotic Gait Rehabilitation
Shore Regional Health’s Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services offers the only Lokomat Robotic Gait Training rehab program on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
The Lokomat is a state-of-the-art robot-assisted gait training device. Patients are supported in a harness above a treadmill while the robotic device moves their legs through a "normal" gait cycle. As treatment progresses weight bearing is increased, and assistance from the robotic legs is reduced requiring the patient to gradually assume greater responsibility for the coordinated movements involved during walking.
The Lokomat is used in the rehabilitation of patients with walking disabilities caused by cerebral, neurogenic, spinal, or orthopaedic disorders affecting the
coordination of the lower extremities. Specifically, the Lokomat system can be used with patients with any of the following conditions:
- Stroke (CVA)
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Cerebral Palsy (CP)
- Parkinson's Disease
- Partial Paraplegia (Spinal Cord Injury)
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
The Lokomat can accommodate individuals with femur length of 35cm-47cm (13.75inces-18.5inches). This is measured from the greater trochanter (hip) to the knee joint line.
Contraindications and Precautions
As for any other therapy, it is the responsibility of the patient's physician and therapist to determine if there are any medical or physical reasons that a patient may not safely participate in Lokomat therapy.
It is strongly recommended that patients obtain an order/prescription specific for Lokomat training from their referring physician. This may be done either prior to or immediately following the Physical Therapy Evaluation (PTE). Our team will need to help educate our referral sources regarding appropriate referrals for Lokomat training.
Persons referred specifically for Lokomat training are initially scheduled for a one-hour physical therapy Evaluation (PTE). The patient will not use the Lokomat during this initial evaluation, but during the course of this session, the physical therapist will determine the appropriateness of Lokomat training for the individual and identify any potential contraindications or precautions. The physical therapist will advise the patient about proper clothing for Lokomat training, expectations/prognosis, and address any potential patient-specific precautions in preparation for training during follow-up appointments.
Operation of the Lokomat requires specialized training of the physical therapist to properly measure and fit the patient to the device. The process of applying the harness and adjusting the lower extremity straps takes a minimum of 20 minutes. The patient then completes a training session of 20-60 minutes during which time the therapist provides cues to improve gait quality and appropriate sequencing of lower extremity muscle contractions. Additionally, the therapist is constantly assessing the patient's performance and making adjustments to the Lokomat to increase or decrease the challenge to the patient by changing the amount of un-weighting through the harness system and/or changing the amount of guidance force from the robotic legs.
Persons traveling from more than 40 miles away may schedule a two-hour physical therapy evaluation (PTE) that will include initial Lokomat patient set up and training. In advance of that evaluation, the physical therapist will advise the patient about proper clothing for Lokomat training, expectations and prognosis, and address any potential patient-specific precautions in preparation to begin training.
A typical treatment plan for Lokomat training would involve three one-hour sessions per week for 4-8 weeks. As with any physical therapy (PT) intervention, utilization of the Lokomat and the overall duration of treatment are based on patient progress.
Referral for Lokomat Training from a Physical Therapist
A physical therapist from another facility may refer/transfer care of a patient to our facility by calling Shore Regional Health’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Services, 410-822-3080,and asking to speak with a physical therapist who works with the Lokomat. Discuss the patient briefly to determine if there are any contraindications or precautions to address prior to scheduling an appointment. If appropriate, schedule an appointment.
For more information, contact:
Outpatient Rehabilitation Services