Tetra Ryerson

Engineering that breaks down barriers

Tetra Ryerson is a student run group that works with the North American Society of Tetra. Together we create assistive devices for individuals with disabilities

Weight Bearing Device

In the process of medical rehabilitation of the limb(s), either after trauma or post-surgery, physiotherapists provide the patient with a partial weight-bearing limit, for example 50% of body weight. Unfortunately, the patient has no accurate method to comply with the physiotherapist’s prescription. Often, the injured limb bears more weight than advised which hinders recovery. To solve this gray area of weight bearing, this project will develop a device that uses sensors and a processor to analyze forces acting on the limb to output a true value of load bearing on the patient. This system accounts for loads being applied directly to the limb (ex. Lifting weights/running on feet) as well as loads without any external applied force (ex. Raising legs without weights). The device also considers the direction of the applied force in case there is a moment force being applied to the limb. The sensors that obtain the force data transmit to the processor, which then decides whether the load currently being borne is more than the prescribed threshold or not. The wireless transmission features and the user-friendly interface allow for a comfortable use in practice, for both the patient and the medical personnel. Furthermore, the simplicity of the materials and the natively constructed components such as the software significantly reduce the production expenses, making it a cost-effective system.

 

With this device being available in physiotherapy, patients will no longer be susceptible of over-bearing on their injured limb. Whether it is any point of the arms or the legs, this device can measure the load being experienced on the specific injury site and act as an oversight, protecting the patient from putting too much stress on the limb during exercise.

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