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anyone used Second Step Gait Harness System?

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  • anyone used Second Step Gait Harness System?

    I am contemplating buying a Gait Harness System for my son. He suffered a C5 injury almost three years ago and has slowly regained some function, including leg movement. He has been practising walking for several months with the aid of a mobile hoist fitted with a special sling (see video below):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtcIpos6W8s

    As you can see, his weight is partially supported from above. The next step would seem to be a walker, which would have him bearing more of his own weight. Our biggest concern is the risk of falling. In order to avoid this, we have thought of buying the Gait Harness System ( www.secondstepinc.com ) which looks like a safe solution. This is a very expensive piece of equipment and because of where we live we have no possibility of seeing it or trying it out before we buy it. The company also does not accept returns. I was wondering if anyone on the forums has used the Gait Harness System and if you can tell us your impressions. Is it comfortable for the user? Easy / difficult to transfer into? What about transporting it? Any information or advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Try using your mobile hoist with slack in his harness. Walk with him advancing the hoist for him to make sure he stays under the hoist.

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    • #3
      Thanks nrf. We do try to have him bearing as much weight as possible by lowering the arm of the hoist. Can you tell me why keeping him under the hoist, rather than letting him walk in front of it, is better?

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      • #4
        If he does fall you don't want the hoist to fall over with him. If he gets too far out from under the point of attachment then pulling the hoist over if he falls is likely.

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        • #5
          Thanks nrf. That makes sense.

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          • #6
            We use a ceiling lift as a safety when using a walker. Do you have one available anywhere? Where are you located? Have you thought about Shriners as an option for your son?

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            • #7
              Is he able to get into a pool that can be used for walking in the pool? This is an excellent way to increase strength and endurance with the bouyancy of the pool helping with both, and reducing fall risk to just about zero (as long as he has someone with him).

              One with parallel bars is ideal, but a regular walker can be used (after letting it fill with water) too.

              (KLD)
              The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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              • #8
                Thank you for your replies, everyone. NRF, we are in Hong Kong. KLD, my son does have access to a pool -- not a hydrotherapy pool, just a recreational / lap pool. He does use it but had never thought of using a walker in it. I'm not very familiar with the types of walkers that exist -- seems you are talking about one made of hollow tubes? Sounds like a great idea. The shallow end of the pool is 1 meter or about 3 feet deep and my son is 6 feet tall -- probably shallower would be better but we could try. Very excited about this -- any advice on what type of walker to get for the pool would be appreciated.

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                • #9
                  Gait belts?

                  Was wondering if any of you knew anything about gait belts. I saw them being used at the rehab hospital my son attended a couple of years ago but at that time he was only taking a few steps while suspended from a ceiling hoist, so not at all a candidate for using them. Would a gait belt be useful either for his overground walking with the hoist (see video link posted above to see how he does it) or in the pool?

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                  • #10
                    What does something like the gait harness system run Mamadavid? We have a Rifton gait walker but its not big enough for hubby, it wants to tip on him.

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                    • #11
                      Have a look at their website (link in my first post) for the exact price, but I think I was looking at 6,000+ US$ after a discount and before shipping.

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                      • #12
                        A proper use of a gait belt is to give an assistant a "handle" to hold for helping to steady balance, not for lifting. Does he walk with another person holding him? It certainly is safer than someone holding him by the arm (which I have seen result in rotator cuff tears in a fall). They are easy to find from catalogs such as Patterson (Sammon Preston).

                        You may have to experiment with different types of walkers (get a used one or two) to see which type will be fill with water when submerged. Parallel bars that are semi-portable can also be placed inside a poor, and many people make their own out of plumbing pipe and a wooden or plastic base.

                        (KLD)
                        The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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                        • #13
                          I agree that a pool is an excellent alternative to walking with the various body weight assistance devices. Talk with his current therapist about options for doing this (is there a pool in your rehab hospital?, and if any options exist for doing this with the guidance of a therapist, or even by hiring a private trainer at a private pool?).

                          The hardest part of a pool is getting in/out safely. Some pools have lifts, other have stairs, and some people have strong upper body strength and can safely get themselves in/out.

                          But you can't fall and hurt yourself in a pool!

                          The best thing about the type of body weight device he is using now is that other therapists can reach in and "help" his legs. However, these are not very comfortable and require a lot of assistance to use. As he gets more independent, he should look for a rehab place or a gym that has an AlterG treadmill machine.

                          /forum/showthread.php?t=177218

                          http://www.alter-g.com/

                          My father is going to a private rehab clinic now that has one of these and they are really excellent. They are safe - you can't fall. But they are hard to use before you are able to take many steps on your own. However, they have also designed a model where therapists can reach in and help your legs. I haven't seen one though.

                          They are expensive, but one person in our city has bought one for his own personal use. He is a quad. They are becoming more popular in the US and can be found in many rehab clinics and private gyms. But it is harder to find an experienced trainer who has used them in patients with spinal cord injury.

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