How an exoskeleton can aid recovery for spinal cord injury
Recent advancements in technology and science have now made it possible for people with spinal cord injury to walk again, with the assistance of a piece of equipment known commonly as an Exoskeleton.
Meaning "outer skeleton", exoskeletons are commonly found in nature. Grasshoppers, cockroaches, and other crustaceans have exoskeletons rather than an inner endoskeleton like humans, providing both support to the body and protection against predators. Exoskeletons have been designed by scientists to replicate this naturally occurring phenomenon.
This development represents good news for people living with spinal cord injury, because as the cost of purchasing this technology begins to decrease Exoskeletons have become more commonplace in patient rehabilitation.
There are currently several devices available on the market to assist with spinal cord injury rehabilitation. These include the Rex Bionics suit, the Rewalk from Argo Medical Technologies in Israel and the Ekso suit from Ekso Bionics in California. Whilst all these devices all share the same ambition of getting people back on their feet after sustaining a spinal cord injury, they can differ in design as well as how the individual uses them.
Some devices are lighter and easier to put on than others, whilst others are more suitable for managing stairs and operating in confined spaces. It is important for the individual to understand the relative benefits of the technologies that are available, and to submit to a thorough testing and assessment process to ensure the equipment is suitable for the level of spinal cord injury.
What are the benefits of using an Exoskeleton?
There are many benefits associated with using an Exoskeleton. From a medical perspective the ability to stand and walk helps to improve muscle tone, respiration digestion and circulation. Patients, who have used one, comment on the positive psychological benefit that it brings simply to be able to stand up and talk to family and friends face to face.
In the longer term it may also be possible for people to return to work using an Exoskeleton to continue in a physically demanding role which may not have been previously possible without the advent of this type of technology.
How can Aspire Law help?
If you sustained a spinal cord injury in an accident that was not your fault, you may be able to claim compensation for your injury which will allow you to make a recovery and to live independently.
As part of your claim for compensation we may be able to obtain the cost of a suitable exoskeleton through an interim payment application or as part of a final settlement. This would require appropriate expert evidence to support such an award.
Our solicitors are experts in dealing with spinal injury compensation claims and can talk to you and your family about this issue, and other ways in which we can help you recover your independence after such an injury. If you or one of your loved ones has sustained a spinal cord injury in an accident that was not their fault, please get in touch with Aspire Law today.