Lois Brown, MPT, ATP, rehab clinical education specialist for
Invacare Corp., recalls a situation in which looking holistically
at a client’s seating system resulted in a successful outcome.
“In a recent case,” Brown says, “I was working with an individual
who is 10 years post injury with a T8 spinal cord injury. He was 6’7" and was replacing his ‘closed-frame’ manual ultralight chair.
“When I evaluated him, he mentioned that when he took
out the rigidizer from his cushion, his propulsion significantly
increased, and he felt the ‘gear’ of the wheel.
“We discussed the risks of leaving out the rigidizer, but were
very careful to consider the cushion solution, its height with the
rigidizer, along with the rear seat slope in order to obtain that
same effect. With SmartWheel data, we were able to compare
the old to the new system and improve his propulsion efficiency while maintaining his seated posture and skin-protection