Three months ago John never imagined that he would be able to walk this well again. A fall seventeen years ago left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. “I was out playing in the rain and wanted to slide in a puddle like you would a Slip and Slide, but I zigged when I should have zagged, and did more of a dive. I landed on my forehead and broke my neck," said Schoen. He was in a wheel chair for six years. Schoen said, "When I first got hurt, we figured I'd be wheel chair bound forever." Luckily, his left side began to get stronger. He was able to use a walker, then a cane. Now he is less dependent on the cane and walking faster with longer strides, thanks to new technology found at Wilmington Orthopedics and Prosthetics. The Bio-ness L-300 that John uses hooks onto his leg and sends and electrical current to the nerve which activates the muscle to lift the ankle and keep the foot from dragging the ground. "When I would walk before it felt like I had a 50 pound weight on my ankle and now with this on it feel like that weight's gone and my leg feel so much lighter," described Schoen. Physical therapist, Tim Marahrens said, "People who have strokes, MS, cerebral palsy, or any incomplete spinal chord injury - it enables the person to lift their foot up to clear the toes to make walking more efficient." Schoen added, "You know, it's really tough to get out to the beach. That's one thing I'm hoping this summer that I'll be able to do with this thing, because it's not easy for me." The technology is about two years old, but John is one of the first patients in our area to use it. John said to ask your doctor or physical therapist about this new Bio-ness technology if you have difficulties walking, because this may be able to help.
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