It can be difficult to accommodate the needs of a diverse group of children with just one device. Each person and each disability is unique, and as a result, they will need different levels of assistance to work towards their goals. One size can never truly fit all, but, we have designed our device so that many sizes fit one: the Trexo features are made to change with your child’s needs.
This article outlines how the following Trexo features can be adjusted for your child’s unique needs:
- Height of the Trexo robotics legs
- Range of motion and gait pattern
- Walking speed
- Support force provided by the Trexo
- Weight bearing by the user
Since the Trexo utilizes a Rifton Dynamic Pacer, you can also take advantage of the accessories offered by Rifton to set-up the system so your child is comfortable and loves every step!
Let’s start with the basics: your child is growing! Thankfully, the Trexo device can be adjusted with your child as they grow.
The Trexo legs have two extendable parts: 1) from the hip to the knee and 2) from the knee to the ankle. This ensures that we can comfortably fit the user’s legs into the Trexo while still ensuring the hip and knee joints are aligned. For the full range of leg lengths for the three sizes of the Trexo, see the Trexo height and weight requirements guide.
Since kids grow not just up, but also in width, the hip width can also be adjusted. Because of this, the user can keep wearing the legs at the correct position as they grow.
Lastly, the frame of the Rifton height will need to be adjusted along with the legs. None of these adjustments require more effort than the twist of a knob, the pull of a lever, or the squeeze of a button.
Now your child’s attitude will grow as well. Unfortunately, we do not have any Trexo features for that but here are some other adjustments to keep them engaged while they walk!
Range of Motion and Gait Pattern
Each joint in the Trexo robotic legs has been designed to move within the natural human range of motion. Additionally, the Trexo software allows you to set up the device with the user’s comfortable range of motion to accommodate for contractures and tightness.
Using the Trexo app, you decide on the exact gait pattern you want (don’t worry, we will help!). You can do this by selecting the maximum degree at the hip and the knee during walking.
This Trexo feature recalls the safe range of motion each time you use the device so you only need to worry about it once! As a result, the Trexo provides comfort and safety each and every time.
So now that we have set our gait, we can decide if want to walk slowly or sprint to the finish line. Using the Trexo app, you can increase or decrease the user’s walking speed. Depending on how comfortable your child is in the Trexo, they can walk from 10 steps/minute to 100 steps/minute. You can change the speed in increments of 5 steps/minute until you find the cadence that is most enjoyable for your kiddo.
If you think they might feel a little lazy and walk slow, then we have a surprise for you: walking slowly is actually much harder than walking at a comfortable speed. Go on, try it!
Now, we know what you’re thinking: with constant hard work, your kiddo will get stronger and changing the speed along won’t do it anymore. Don’t worry, we have adjustable support force just for this!
The Support Force allows you to adjust how hard the motors work to help your child. This Trexo feature is essentially the strength, the muscle, of the robotic legs. The higher the Support Force, the stronger the robotics legs, the more weight they can lift and push. With lower Support Force, the robotics legs will feel weaker and won’t have as much ability to lift and push the weight. Therefore, your kiddo will need to help to actually propel themselves forward!
In essence, when the user walks with higher Support Force, they do not need to exert as much energy as the Trexo will do most of the work to walk. As the Support Force is lowered, so is the energy the Trexo exerts to guide the user through the gait.
A note of caution here however, just because the Support Force is high, it doesn’t mean your kiddo gets a free ride. Even with maximum support, they will need to engage those muscles at toe off and to weight bear with each step. Which brings us to our next Trexo feature: weight bearing.
The Trexo can provide weight bearing assistance to kiddos who cannot weight bear and provide little to no assistance for those who can. Using the Trexo app, you can monitor how much weight your kiddo is bearing while they’re walking.
As your child becomes more comfortable with the device, you can increase the amount of weight bearing. This will require them to work harder and can be done in a multitude of ways. For example, you can lower the Rifton frame, open the shin clamps, or remove the saddle all together.
How these adaptations help you
The main thing with all these adjustments is to achieve a comfortable, yet challenging gait that will push your child to keep working hard. After all, we want them to work hard so that they can keep getting stronger! This is exactly what our friend Iris did with her Trexo and her progress has truly impressed us all.
If you would like to see how the accessories and Trexo features can be adjusted, check out this video!
Which Trexo feature excites you the most?
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