Jeanine Posey had not walked in four years following an automobile accident in 2011 that left her with a disc fracture. A former HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Tallahassee patient, she received a call in June 2016 asking if she’d be willing to participate in the hospital’s first trial of the ReWalk Robotics Exoskeleton, a wearable robotic device that provides powered hip and knee motion enabling spinal cord injury (SCI) patients to stand upright, walk, turn and climb stairs. Jeanine used the ReWalk Exoskeleton for two hours during her trial at HealthSouth Tallahassee.
“To actually walk and move, doing what your body used to do, the benefits outweigh anything else,” said Jeanine. “It’s an amazing feeling, from not being able to walk to walking.”
ReWalk Robotics is the first exoskeleton manufacturer in the U.S. to receive the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) clearance for both personal use at home and in a rehabilitation setting; the company received FDA clearance in June 2014. The device provides a valuable means of exercise and therapy for SCI patients and claims to have physiological and psychological benefits to users. According to ReWalk Robotics, study data indicates potential improvements in cardiovascular health, loss of fat, building of lean muscle mass and bowel function. The ReWalk Exoskeleton moves with users, allowing them complete control and a means to walk with normal energy exertion.
“It was amazing,” said Jeanine. “I didn’t want to stop. It felt really good to be able to stand up. That one day made me feel so good.”
To learn more about HealthSouth Tallahassee’s ReWalk Exoskeleton, please contact Sharon Hansen at Sharon.Hansen@healthsouth.com or watch the videos of Jeanine Posey utilizing ReWalk at the hospital.