UH Parma Medical Center adds new anti-gravity treadmill to help with recovery time


PARMA, Ohio — When it comes to recovering from many leg injuries, weight-bearing is often critical for patients.

To facilitate this process, UH Parma Medical Center recently added a new Alter G weightless treadmill, which facilitates faster and earlier return to upright activity for postoperative and post-injury patients than a traditional treadmill.

Faster return to motion and proper weight bearing decrease muscle atrophy and swelling, while dramatically improving patient outcomes. In older patients, it reduces the risk of falls by initiating gait and balance training more quickly.

“I specialize in sports medicine and adult reconstructive surgery, so Alter G has been on my radar for a little while,” said UH Parma Medical Center orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jared Levin.

He had experience with the weightless treadmill at other UH locations, including UH Westlake and Streetsboro Health Centers, as well as UH Rehabilitation Services at T3 Performance in Avon.

“The technology was there, but what I’ve noticed over the last few years, it’s starting to become a bit more mainstream,” he said. “It seemed like it was definitely something that helped in the rehab process.”

Another factor in the addition of the Alter G came from the fact that Levin is currently the Cleveland Monsters hockey team doctor.

“Discussing with the orthopedic surgeon, athletic trainer and team physiotherapist, we are always looking for ways to improve rehabilitation and therapy,” Levin said.

“Often the quality of physiotherapy and the effort the patient puts in can determine whether someone needs surgery or not. It can definitely have a big impact on the outcome after surgery, so it’s always something we’re trying to improve,” he said.

“It seemed like the Alter G was part of that as well.”

While weightless treadmills in water have been around for a while, the Alter G is more efficient and takes up less space.

“The other thing it gives you is a video component,” Levin said. “It can perform gait analysis, so a runner can see how much weight they’re putting on their foot when they kick. You can then gather information and design treatment programs.

Located in the Physical Therapy Suite at Medical Arts Center 4, the new Alter G weightless treadmill was paid for with a $45,000 donation from the Parma Hospital Health Care Foundation, which has a long history of financial support for clinical services hospitals that benefit patients.

In recent years, the charitable nonprofit organization has helped expand surgical services to bring more advanced procedures to the community at UH Parma Medical Center, as well as renovating hospice wards and l extension of music therapy, massage therapy and training for nurses.

“The foundation is committed to helping our doctors and caregivers realize their vision of providing the best care close to home in the key services our community needs,” said Marcia Ferguson, executive director of Parma Hospital Health. Care Foundation, in a press release.

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