Buffalo General Medical Center
B Building, 5th Floor
100 High Street
Buffalo, NY 14203
Rehabilitation Medicine - Acute Medical Rehabilitation
Imagine technology so advanced that stroke and other neurological patients can potentially regain the ability to perform independent tasks and achieve mobility. Such sophisticated technology is now a reality for the first time in Western New York as a part of its medical rehabilitation program, Buffalo General Hospital location.
Buffalo General Hospital physical therapists are trained in the new functional electrical stimulation (FES) devices NES L300™ and Ness H200™ for both inpatients and outpatients at the hospital. Those who have experienced the frustration of being unable to move effortlessly, or tie their own shoes, brush their teeth and feed themselves without assistance quickly realize the value of these therapies.
Combined with a comprehensive rehabilitation regimen, our rehabilitation team can use these devices to help patients retrain and regain control of their bodies to achieve greater mobility and independence than anyone dreamed possible just a few short years ago
Being able to get up on your own two feet and walk independently after a stroke is an exciting, empowering moment in a person's rehabilitation. For those who can accomplish that goal, foot drop (a partial leg paralysis that prevents the foot from lifting — causing instability and difficulty walking) can be a frustrating problem.
The Bioness NESS L300 helps some patients with foot drop regain lost mobility and recapture a more normal gait pattern while it is in use. This lightweight, wireless device is worn on the lower-leg and foot in place of a traditional foot brace. Sensors detect whether the patient's foot is in the air or on the ground, and electrodes transmit painless electrical stimulation to the peroneal nerve to activate the leg muscles and correct their gait. The device uses wireless communication to “talk” to its components, allowing the clinician the ability to fine-tune settings while the patient is actually walking.
The NESS L300 works via electrical stimulation and consists of three main components:
- Control unit
When a person experiences a stroke, brain injury or incomplete spinal cord injury, partial or complete loss of forearm and hand function can dramatically impact quality of life. Now the Ness H200 (while it is in use) can help some patients perform simple activities that were previously impossible, including opening and closing the hand to grasp objects.
Worn on the forearm and hand, the Ness H200 is positioned over the patient's hand and forearm. Embedded in the device are five surface electrodes that are programmed into a remote control unit to stimulate muscles in the hand and wrist, guiding the device through repetitive exercises individually customized for each patient by our occupational therapists.
Based on the concept of neuromuscular re-education, repetition of movement teaches the healthy parts of the brain to relearn lost function by creating new pathways. In addition, the exercises prevent muscle atrophy from non-use, improve blood flow and reduce spasticity.
Not all patients are candidates for treatment with this new technology. The Buffalo General rehabilitation team is specially trained in patient assessment and selection for device use and treatment. Some of the general circumstances that might rule out eligibility include:
- Patients with demand type cardiac pacemakers and other implanted electrical devices (ICD, insulin pumps, baclofen pumps, etc)
- Treatment areas containing a malignant tumor
- Use over regional disorders such as fractures, traumatic dislocations which would be adversely effected by motion from stimulation
- Simultaneous use with high-frequency surgical equipment
- Use within one meter of short wave or microwave equipment
- Use during pregnancy has not been fully established
- Use over areas with actively broken, blistered, infected or irritated skin