Anti-Gravity Treadmill Helping Broken Arrow Amputee Walk Again

Tuesday, July 21st 2015, 11:19 pm
By: News On 6

A new treadmill lifts people to half their weight, defying gravity, and personal limitations; it’s helping orthopedic patients, people who've suffered strokes and a local amputee.

Olympians use it, professional athletes use it, and now everyday people are using the piece of equipment to get back up on their feet at Forest Hills Care and Rehab in Broken Arrow.

Kenneth Reilly is using the anti-gravity treadmill to learn how to walk with his new leg.

"This looks actually like a human being walking with two normal legs," he said.

Reilly didn't know he was diabetic until he stubbed his toe, breaking some bones.

He thought he took care of it on his own until he passed out one day from septic and diabetic shock.

Weeks ago, Reilly lost his lower left leg and is now re-learning to walk.

"We're coming up on ten minutes now and it's, I could go another ten easily. That's what this machine will do," he said.

Reilly wears what's called a tutu that zips into the treadmill. It inflates to lift Reilly to a weight that's half his body weight; there's even a camera so Reilly can watch himself walk.

Meg Smith, Reilly's occupational therapist, said Reilly couldn't get the motion of walking heel to toe until he stepped on the machine.

"There's a piece of him that was there for decades that's not there anymore, so his whole body scheme, his whole opinion of himself, altered," said Smith.

It'll take Reilly many more steps to get his stride right, but every step is one closer to getting out of rehab, and back home, thanks to the treadmill and his team of therapists.

The anti-gravity treadmill costs more than $40,000, but some private insurers and Medicare cover its use if you qualify.