Friday, November 16, 2012
Medical Reports: Speedy recovery
Injuries or surgery can lead to a long road to recovery, but thanks to space technology, people are getting back on their feet at light speed. 7's Diana Diaz shows us the new machine that is leading to this speedy recovery.
WSVN -- Eighteen-year-old Desmond Gonzales has been running and kicking his way down a soccer field since he was a little boy.
Desmond Gonzalez: "I got invited to play in Europe, so after that I left school and I went pursue my dream of being a professional athlete."
Recently his dreams of playing professional ball were threatened.
Desmond Gonzalez: "My legs started to tighten up, I couldn't kick the ball. It felt like there were bricks on my legs."
Desmond had to undergo surgeries to help release the pressure in his legs. The teenager worried he would never play or even walk the same again.
Desmond Gonzalez: "Putting weight on my foot. I didn't know if I could walk again. It was really scary."
When Desmond started his physical therapy at UM Health System at Marlins Park. They put him on a new machine called alter g. It's a treadmill developed by NASA, which simulates anti-gravity.
Teresa Glynn: "When they developed the technology they were trying to give astronauts the feeling of weightlessness. Then they expanded the use for injured need to be un-weighted to heal properly."
Once the patient is zipped into the machine it fills with air so the person is lifted up.
Teresa Glynn: "The machines give me the ability to vary your body weight. Now he weighs 40 to 60 pounds your body doesn't have to work too hard to hold you up."
That way patients don't put too much weight on the injury too soon.
Teresa Glynn: "After injury people have pain when they are walking and weight-baring, so it lifts them off that painful bone or tissue, and protects that tissue and allows it heal without further damage."
The physical therapist increases the weight as needed and the person is able to go through normal movement like walking or running.
Desmond's physical therapist says the machine helped the teenager gain back his confidence and start walking sooner.
Mike Mirando: I'm very proud of him. He's gotten where he needs to go, and he's gotten there a lot faster, and I would say that machine had a lot to do with getting him there."
After several months of treatment, Desmond is now back to his field of dreams.
Desmond Gonzalez: "I'm training every day now sometimes twice a week. I leave back for Europe in a couple of weeks. At first they didn't think I could go back until January. So now look at my progress."
Again, this isn't just for athletes this can be used for elderly or children who've been injured.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
University of Miami Health System at the Marlins Park