(Alton, IL) – Information about Bioness, a new medical technology for people affected by health conditions such as stroke or multiple sclerosis – or even traumatic brain or spinal cord injury -- will be presented by Saint Anthony’s Health Center clinicians on Wednesday, April 18 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Auditorium of Saint Clare’s Professional Building, 815 East Fifth Street.

An advanced therapeutic technology only available through Saint Anthony’s Therapy Services, Bioness helps individuals with impaired upper and lower extremities regain function and freedom.

“Hospitals in the St. Louis area are referring to our outpatient therapy services because the Bioness devices provide such tremendous functional and therapeutic benefits for individuals affected by central nervous system injuries and disorders,” says Sue Curfman, AVP of Post Acute Services for Saint Anthony’s.

Saint Anthony’s Therapy Services offers two of the Bioness devices – one for hands and the other for lower extremities. The NESS L300 Foot Drop System uses highly advanced functional electrical stimulation technology that sends low-level electrical impulses to the nerves in the patient’s leg, stimulating the muscles that lift the foot while walking. Foot drop results from an injury or illness that makes the foot and ankle muscles weak or paralyzed. When a person who has foot drop walks, the foot may drop and catch on the ground as the person moves forward.

The NESS H200 Hand Rehabilitation System uses advanced functional electrical stimulation technology that sends coordinated, sequential, low-level electrical impulses to paralyzed muscles in the patient’s forearm and hand. Upper-extremity and hand paralysis is not a disease. It results from an injury or illness that makes the arm and/or hand muscles weak or paralyzed.

The functional electrical stimulation improves voluntary movement in injured or impaired limbs and may also reeducate muscles, prevent muscle loss, maintain or increase joint range of motion, prevent stiffness in joints and increase local blood flow.

If a muscle and its nerve supply remain healthy, functional electrical stimulation may be used to replace the natural electrical signals from the brain, helping the weak or paralyzed limbs move again. With continued stimulation over time, the brain may even be able to recapture and relearn this movement without the stimulation.

The professional staff of Saint Anthony’s Therapy Services, located in the Saint Clare’s Professional Building at 815 East Fifth Street in Alton, has been fully trained in all areas of Bioness.

The program is free and open to the public. To register, call 465-2264.

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