We were delighted to read an NHS patient testimonial this week, who regained the use of their leg following their stroke as a result of the hard work by the Acute Stroke Unit team at Royal Bournemouth Hospital, and their therapy using the Hocoma Lokomat robotic gait trainer.

“My stroke stole my ability to walk, strapped into the Lokomat I could walk again. It was fantastic. The Lokomat also allowed me to exercise my weak leg in ways that were impossible outside of it. As a result of this my leg grew stronger and I can now walk with a frame. I owe this to Sophie, her splendid team and the Lokomat.”

The University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Charity “Walkerbot” appeal raised funds to purchase the Lokomat for their Acute Stroke Unit. Patients can achieve a far higher number of repetitions than conventional therapy from an earlier stage in their recovery journey. Read more about the charity’s fundraising appeal.

Dr Louise Johnson, Consultant Therapist at University Hospitals Dorset, said at the recent Walkerbot appeal celebration:

“We identified [the Lokomat] as something that we wanted to provide within our stroke service because we know it’s got a really strong evidence base. We know it works for people with stroke, it’s recommended in our national guidelines for stroke, yet as far as we were aware, no stroke services in the UK offer patients access to this kind of service. So we wanted to do something about that and be one of the first to be able to offer patients access to such incredible technology. It is really exciting for staff to be able to work in a service that is able to offer the most up-to-date technology so we are really excited about being trained how to use [the Lokomat], to be able to offer that to patients who access our services and get the best outcomes for our patients. 

So for patients who are unable to walk after a stroke or patients whose legs have been affected by the stroke, [the Lokomat] will give them the opportunity to practice really high repetitions within their rehabilitation. So at the moment, we would support patients to relearn how to sit and stand and step if they’re able to. But we can only do that at quite low intensity, and the use of robotics enables us to do that at much higher intensity, which we know has an impact on people’s recovery and ultimately their outcomes.”

Dr Johnson recently spoke at the Welsh Stroke Conference and the Greater Manchester Neurorehabilitation and Integrated Stroke Delivery Network conference about meeting the intensity challenge in stroke rehabilitation: now and in the future, and implementing rehabilitation robotics in the NHS.

About the Lokomat

The Lokomat is a robotic-assisted therapy device for highly intensive physiological gait rehabilitation for severely impaired patients. The Lokomat was developed by Swiss rehabilitation technology company Hocoma, and is supplied in the UK by Summit Medical and Scientific.

Get in touch with Summit Medical and Scientific today to find out more about incorporating state-of-the-art rehabilitation technology into your practice. Contact us via email at info@summitmedsci.co.uk or call 01372 3459863. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates.