ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – The newest edition of a robotic exoskeleton is now being used at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood to help stroke patients learn to walk again. That kind of device has been used for several years to help patients with spinal cord injuries, but therapists are now seeing success helping stroke patients as well.
Mario Ramos is one of those patients. Just a few weeks ago, the Wyoming man could not walk at all. After a massive stroke, the left side of his body was not working well.
“When I first got here, there was no way I would have thought of walking. I would have been, boom, right on the floor,” he said.
But Ramos began working with therapists at the inpatient rehabilitation center at Swedish Medical Center, which just got the new device.
“We are the only inpatient rehab in Colorado that has this,” said Glen Sargent, a physical therapist. He says the device helps patients relearn correct step patterns, weight shifting and posture.
“It’s to get somebody to learn, how to take those normal good steps, in the most precise way, repetitively, over and over and over again,” Sargent said.
The software allows for customization and Sargent hopes it will help patients walk faster.
The exoskeleton seems to be helping Ramos. He is now able to walk with some assistance. He’ll head back home to Wyoming soon, ideally needing only a cane.