What Is the Ekso Bionics Exoskeleton?
The Ekso Bionics exoskeleton is a wearable bionic suit that enables individuals with any amount of lower extremity weakness to stand up and walk over ground with a natural, full-weight bearing and reciprocal gait. Walking is achieved by the user's weight shifting and activating sensors in the device, which initiate steps. Battery-powered motors drive the legs, replacing deficient neuromuscular function.
The ability of the brain to change and compensate for injury or illness is called neuroplasticity. The repetitive movement of using the Ekso may trigger the brain to form new neural connections that slowly increase movement in paralyzed legs. The Ekso technology provides the necessary consistent repetition that could not be duplicated by a therapist doing traditional “hands-on” therapy.
Nonetheless, it takes therapists with extensive training and a specialty in neurorehabilitation to oversee the use of the Ekso. The Ekso provides functional-based rehabilitation, over-ground gait training and upright, weight-bearing exercise under the supervision of a physical therapist. The exoskeleton suit is custom fitted and strapped over the user’s clothing with easy adjustments to transition between patients.