New Device Helps Paralyzed Patients Walk Again

A wearable, battery-powered robot called the Ekso™, or exoskeleton, is helping paralyzed patients walk again at The Mount Sinai Hospital’s new Rehabilitation Bionics Program, the only program in New York State that uses this device.

The Ekso, manufactured by Ekso Bionics, based in Richmond, California, is strapped over the patients’ clothing, and enables them to stand and walk with the help of a microprocessor that controls movement and a battery that provides power.

“Patients find it extremely gratifying to stand up and ambulate,” says Kristjan T. Ragnarsson, MD. “With this device, the power comes from a rechargeable battery that is carried in a backpack, and it allows patients to walk in a more natural way.” He says patients report that it is much less strenuous to walk with the device than with traditional leg braces.

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