The robot that helps children with spinal cord injuries walk

The Aladina Foundation has donated a pediatric rehabilitation robot, called Lokomat®, to the Toledo National Hospital for Paraplegics to help children with spinal cord injuries walk.

The robot that helps children with spinal cord injuries walk

The Aladina Foundation has donated a pediatric rehabilitation robot, called Lokomat®, to the Toledo National Hospital for Paraplegics to help children with spinal cord injuries walk.

During the presentation ceremony, the person in charge of Children's Rehabilitation at the Sescam center, Elisa Dolado, explained how "this robotic system is attached to the legs and mobilizes the hips and knees following a cyclic pattern of walking on a treadmill, and It has a harness that allows patients to stand up and walk.”

The system is also integrated into virtual environments that provide stimuli used by the brain to optimize the movements that children are learning to perform. The information that comes from the virtual reality system allows therapists to give training a meaning and a functional context, which stimulates and facilitates rehabilitation.

The characteristics of the Lokomat encourage participation and are playful and motivating, something essential in sessions with children.

This exoskeleton opens up a new therapeutic and research horizon for the motor problems of spinal cord injuries due to oncology, since it improves their body alignment, motor skills, facilitates the integration of children in their environment and, ultimately, improves your quality of life.

The new robotic system, which is valued at 360,000 euros, was one of the first high-cost technological devices for pediatric rehabilitation installed in the country. Although the implantation of these devices is increasing, it is still a type of therapy that is not very accessible due to its high cost and the high specialization required by the personnel who manage it.

The Lokomat presentation was attended by the president of the Fundación Aladina, Paco Arango; the two-time world rally champion Carlos Sainz, the director of Humanization and Health Care, Maite Marín, and the director of the HNP, Sagrario de la Azuela.

After thanking the Aladina Foundation on behalf of the Ministry of Health of Castilla-La Mancha for this "wonderful solidarity initiative", the director of Humanization and Social and Health Care, Maite Marín, recalled that, "although spinal cord injuries are usually related to traffic accidents, this injury has multiple causes and its oncological origin is increasingly frequent».

In 2021, in the Pediatric Rehabilitation Unit of the National Hospital for Paraplegics, 32 patients were treated as inpatients and 51 more with chronic spinal cord injuries; In the day hospital, 999 processes were performed on a total of 313 pediatric patients. This 2022, in 42 percent of cases, the cause of the spinal cord injury was a tumor, a slightly higher percentage than previous years, which was just over 30 percent.

This high percentage of tumors that leave spinal cord injuries in children is explained by the increase in the cure rate of oncological processes in the last decade. It is "good news that forces us to pay attention to the survivors and their subsequent needs," the Community Board said in a statement.

The president of the Aladina Foundation, Paco Arango, has expressed his satisfaction with the inauguration of the pediatric Lokomat, after the long wait of two years as a result of COVID. This robotic system has already made possible the rehabilitation of 55 minors, reported Paco Arango, who announced the next commitment of the Aladina Foundation, a future exoskeleton intended for the rehabilitation of spinal cord injury.

For his part, the two-time Rally World Champion Carlos Sainz stated that this is a happy day and expressed his congratulations "to the Aladina Foundation and its president for having managed to bring this technologically advanced machine and make it available to children and girls with spinal cord injury. In addition, he has congratulated the professionals of the National Hospital for Paraplegics for the work "so spectacular that they carry out".

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