Guest Blog by Physical Therapist, Ryan Smith.
The AlterG is an exciting new rehabilitation tool that uses differential air pressure technology to allow an individual to stand, walk, and run at reduced body weight. Body weight can be controlled in 1% increments from full body weight down to 20%. Within the machine lies a treadmill similar to what you would see in a health club or fitness facility.
The advantage is it allows earlier return to weight bearing, walking, and running. Pain and force through a joint is reduced using the machine. The AlterG is speeding up and improving outcomes after surgery. College and professional athletes are using the AlterG to prolong careers, improve speed, and heal from various lower extremity ailments. During Super Bowl week numerous machines were taken to Indianapolis for the Giants and Patriots to use, and many sports organizations are purchasing them to use within their training facilities.
After injury, this technology allows for a normal walking pattern controlling for speed, elevation, and joint loading. Some common surgeries where the AlterG has been beneficial include:
- Joint replacement
- Ligament repair
- Microfracture surgery
It has also been beneficial for overuse injuries, ligament sprains, and contusions. Watching patients progress while using the AlterG has been exciting and I invite you to stop by Apple Valley anytime to see it for yourself.
“I like the AlterG because it gives my patients a way of non-painful, controlled weight bearing early in the recovery period,” says Minnesota orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Lance Silverman. “Studies show that an earlier return to activity prevents atrophy of supporting muscles, decreases swelling, and improves outcomes. AlterG will become the standard of care in rehabilitation. The bottom-line, the Alter G helps patients recover faster and return to all their activities. I can’t ask for much more.”
About the Author
Ryan Smith PT, DPT is the site coordinator of Sister Kenny Sports & Physical Therapy in Apple Valley, Minnesota