Improved Training Program for Fall Prevention of Warfighters with Lower Extemity Trauma
[Technical Report, Annual Report]
MAYO CLINIC ROCHESTER MN
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In the current military and healthcare environment, it is essential to focus on rapid but safe development of functional skills with a goal of early discharge from rehabilitation to return to active duty or civilian life. Although the U.S. military has access to state-of-the-art treatment and devices, warfighters with lower extremity trauma still struggle to regain full functional capabilities. A key factor that limits the ability of these individuals to achieve maximum functional capabilities is falls. Falls have serious consequences including loss of confidence, fear of falling, and injury. Warfighters with lower extremity trauma need to face the risk of falling and overcome that fear. After standard rehabilitation for amputation or limb salvage, many warfighters still struggle with falls, which can exacerbate physical and emotional injury and delay healing. When individual strip or slip, they are likely to fall and injure themselves, in spite of advances in rehabilitation care. This project develops a secondary rehabilitation program, implemented after traditional therapy, and designed to reduce falls in warfighters with amputations or limb preservation procedures. The goals of this research effort are to augment existing rehabilitation with a novel, demonstrably successful fall-prevention training method to help warfighters return to full high-level functional capabilities and emotional wellness, and to decrease the time required to either return to active duty or to a productive, active civilian life. The training program utilizes a microprocessor-controlled treadmill designed to deliver task-specific training perturbations. The training consists of six, 30 minute sessions delivered over a 4-week period. In the current year, we have enrolled 35 subjects and 14 subjects have completed training.
- Medicine and Medical Research