Researchers from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) have designed and patented a new device for carrying out knee rehabilitation and strengthening exercises.
The proposal involves a physiotherapeutic technical aid system for knee rehabilitation, which determines and reduces the risk of suffering a new injury during rehabilitation. In addition, this device could also be used in the world of sports competitions, both for use in physiological analysis and for performance improvement exercises.
Currently, the Y-Balance Test (YBT) and Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT), two clinical assessment exercises to determine the risk of injury to the patient’s lower limbs, are used. They are carried out manually, with oversized systems that aren’t easily transportable and require constant supervision by physiotherapists.
This new device consists of a platform on which the patient rests the foot of the limb undergoing treatment. The platform contains extendable arms, with presence sensors at each end. During a YBT exercise, the other foot has to go over them. Another set of sensors is attached to the patient’s tibia using a calf brace, which measures the lateral tilt and loss of verticality of the kneecap during the YBT test. When the patient is in a position that may be potentially harmful or damaging, the detector communicates this to the base. All this data is sent to the patient’s mobile device through a Wi-Fi connection.
"These measures are helpful for physiotherapist work. They help to personalise the exercises to be carried out with each patient. In addition, the system’s portability and connectivity significantly reduce the specialist’s constant clinical supervision", concludes Ricardo Vergaz Benito, from the UC3M Department of Electronic Technology.