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Spring 2003

UWMC Patient Improves Walking with Body-Weight-Supported Treadmill Training Using the Lite Gait System

(see related article)

Lite Gait SystemUWMC patient Sherri McCarthy, right, is assisted on the Lite Gait system by physical therapy aide Andrew Meade (facing) and Scott Turnipseed, physical therapist. McCarthy, who has L1 incomplete paraplegia (since 1997) and uses a wheelchair for mobility, began BWSTT in October 2002 and is thrilled with the improvements. "I love it!" she said. "I'm really encouraged."

According to Turnipseed, McCarthy has increased her weight-bearing and treadmill speed and gained significant hip and trunk control. When she began, she could not advance either leg voluntarily; after 12 sessions she could step unaided with her right leg and needed only 25% help with her left.

In addition to improved strength, balance and stamina, McCarthy reports better bowel function, more bladder sensation, and a slimmer waistline. She is so enthusiastic that her husband plans to build a BWSTT system for their home.