CHOP’s Center for Rehabilitation and the Department of Physical Therapy are committed to providing the latest technology to optimize each patients’ recovery and development of important life skills. The latest option available to our patients and therapists is the Tibion Bionic Leg, the department’s acquisition of which was made possible by a generous gift from CVS Caremark.
The Tibion Bionic Leg is worn over the thigh and calf. It provides assistance to patients when they participate in a wide range of exercises which otherwise might not be possible, and is critical to the recovery of ambulation. The device provides graded assistance or resistance throughout an exercise so a child or adolescent can exercise during all parts of an activity, even if their muscle strength is insufficient to allow them to participate in the exercise or activity without the device. As the child improves, the device can be adjusted to optimize their exercise experience and maximize the gains that are experienced from their rehabilitative program.
The first patient to benefit from the new technology says her experience using the device has been a powerful one. Following her first therapy session with the device, she said she felt able to “put more trust in her leg.” This trust is a critical benefit of the device. She is able to give full effort during her sessions and anticipate her optimal performance without wondering if her leg will respond because she knows the Tibion Bionic Leg is there to back her up as much as needed.
The result is a more effective therapy session. In the view of her physical therapist, Matej Korzeniowski, “The Tibion Bionic Leg gave her confidence to try higher level activities and, as a result, facilitated improved outcomes.” CHOP’s Physical Therapy team is excited to explore this new technology and the potential that exists for all our patients.