Rehabilitation Medicine

Exoskeletal Assisted Walking Therapy

Mount Sinai offers a unique program for patients receiving inpatient and outpatient services who have paralysis, physical or neurological limitations from a spinal cord injurystroke, Parkinson’s disease (PD), multiple sclerosis (MS), or brain injury that limits their ability to stand and/or walk.

Our exoskeletal assisted walking therapy program can begin as soon you are cleared by your doctor. Some of the potential benefits that may be expected from exoskeletal-assisted walking include improved self-esteem from being at eye level, improved bowel and bladder function, less interrupted sleep and daytime fatigue, and weight loss.

Walking Devices

Mount Sinai offers two types of powered exoskeletons for exoskeletal-assisted walking (EAW): the Ekso GT and the ReWalk.

The Ekso GT is an exoskeleton device for people who have had spinal cord injuries (SCI), strokes, or other conditions affecting walking. Designed to support patients to re-learn standing, weight shifting and stepping patterns for walking, the Ekso GT helps patients improve speed, stamina, balance, and control.

Powered by a system of electric motors, levers, and hydraulics, the Ekso GT uses Variable Assist software which helps physical therapists determine how much power is provided to each side of the user’s body, depending on the level of paralysis. The computer program uses force and motion sensors to monitor the user’s movements and then uses the information to decide how much resistance or force is needed to help the user walk.

The ReWalk exoskeletal device is primarily for people with an SCI but may also be used for other conditions that limit or prevent standing and walking. The ReWalk features a wearable exoskeleton with motorized hip and knee joints. It controls movement by using the upper body to create minor changes in the patient’s center of gravity. The system senses movement of the upper body which creates a stepping sequence that mimics the natural walking movement of the legs. In addition to providing gait (walking) therapy, patients can use their own ReWalk Personal System to be used at home and in the community.

Research Opportunities

Mount Sinai and our affiliates offer several different opportunities to participate in research related to exoskeleton-assisted walking. Currently, there are three active research studies for individuals with a spinal cord injury (SCI) if they qualify. If you are deemed eligible, there is no charge for participating. To learn more about our research programs, please contact us at 212-241-7073.