New Equipment Helps Rehab

Topeka (WIBW) - A newer machine is making it a bit easier to bounce back from a joint surgery or injury.

It's called the Biodex system, and Mike Elliott says it will put you through a workout.

Elliott wiped away sweat as he talked about coming back from a knee replacement. He says the Biodex has helped him regain his strength and range of motion.

The Biodex is designed to do those things as part of comprehensive program of rehab exercises, according to Stormont-Vail physical therapist Pat Pfannensteil.

Pfannensteil says when a person gets a new body part, you need to build the strength and range of motion to make it as functional as possible.

The Biodex targets both. It can be set to measure flex and extension, encouraging patients to move through a full range of motion. Plus, it strengthens using an isokinetic approach, which Pfannensteil describes as the speed stayoing at a constant, which can be changed, but the torque a person used to push against the machine varies.

Pfannensteil says it's a safer way for recovering patients to gain strength. He says, if a person struggles with a weight, they have to either lower it or drop the weight and that may strain the muscle. With isokinetic, you don't have that risk.

An added benefit is that computer readings provide an objective way to mark progress. Before the machine, therapists would manually provide the resistance and watch the flexing, and visually gauge progress.

It's not just for knees. The Biodex also can be used for ankles, shoulders and hips.


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