Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care

151 West Galbraith Road, Cincinnati, OH 45216 | (513) 418-2500

Ambulation and Balance Training

Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care therapists can evaluate your walking following injury or illness and work with you toward your goal to walk again. They might recommend the use of an assistive device such as a cane, walker, or crutches.  They also work with local orthotists and prosthetists to make custom shoe orthotics, braces, and prostethic limbs following amputation. Daniel Drake Center physical therapists specialize in the use of a variety of innovative equipment to help patients relearn how to walk, such as:

Gait Rite

The GAITRite system is an electronic walkway pad that stretches 10 feet on the ground. This walkway has six sensors that communicate with a laptop computer.  As the patient ambulates across the walkway, the computer system captures the relative arrangement of each footstep as a function of time. The application software processes the raw data into footfall patterns and computes the temporal (timing) and spatial (distance) parameters of the gait pattern. This objective information can help the therapist determine why a patient has an impaired gait pattern, balance deficits, or pain while walking. The Gait-Rite system assists the therapist in more accurately assessing problems related to ambulation. Physical therapists can also compare gait patterns of patients using different assistive devices such as crutches, walkers, or canes to determine which device is most suitable for patients. Therapists can test patients before and after surgical procedures, with and without orthotic devices, and with prosthetic limbs.  Individual tests can be recorded in the computer database and can be viewed and printed for physician reports and comparative analyses to document progress.

Lite Gait

Physical therapists can provide neuromuscular reeducation for traumatic brain injury, stroke, and spinal cord patients on a unique treadmill. The body-harness fits securely around the patient’s waist and allows Partial Weight Bearing (PWB) Gait and Balance Training. This treadmill allows the therapist to observe and manually assist foot placement, weight shifting, and timing to encourage the development of a more efficient reciprocal & symmetric walking pattern. This system facilitates improved weight-bearing on the affected lower extremity, upright posture, and appropriate timing of walking in a safe, fall-free environment.  Physical therapists can adjust the percentage of body weight supported by the harness, speed of the treadmill, amount of manual assistance, and the duration and frequency of gait training sessions to optimize return to independent walking.

Neurocom Balance Master

At the Daniel Drake Center, therapists evaluate patient’s balance using a series of evidence-based tests and a computerized test system called the NeuroCom Balance Master. The system allows therapists to objectively evaluate balance using a variety of standing activities. Test results can be used to determine whether the primary cause of poor balance is vestibular, visual, or somatosensory. Therapists can test limits of stability and compare a patient’s scores to normative values for age-matched, clinically asymptomatic subjects, assessing reaction time, speed, distance, and directional control. The information can be used to make recommendations to improve balance and functioning during standing activities and to reduce the risk of falls. Therapists can also use the computer system for post-surgical patients to reinforce lower extremity weight bearing precautions. The computer provides the patient and therapists with the percentage of standing weight on each extremity in real-time. The testing can be repeated frequently to monitor patient progress or identify decline in function.

Prosthetic Training

Following the amputation of a limb, Daniel Drake Center therapists work to help patients prepare for use of an artificial or prosthetic device. Therapists develop an individualized treatment plan to address stretching and strengthening, balance and coordination, general conditioning, and residual limb care to prepare patients for use of the prosthesis.

When individuals are ready for their new limb, the therapist works in collaboration with the prosthetist and physician to ensure the selection and fit of the prosthesis is the best option to help patients meet their personal functional goals.  Therapists assist patients with learning how to use their new prosthesis in activities of daily living, self-care and general mobility. Treatment after receiving the prosthesis focuses on use and wear of the device, maintaining prosthetic control, care and protection of the residual limb, and return to the highest level of functioning possible.

 

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