Functional Decline

One Patients Story to Treatment and Recovery

““We have a patient who has Parkinson’s disease. He struggled with his gait while walking and hoped he could be helped. After using this treadmill for a few weeks, he’s had marked improvement with his walking. In fact, he hasn’t had a fall since he started training with us.””

Rob Abney, Occupational Therapist, Hand Therapy Plus

One Patients Treatment for Functional Decline

Glenda Hill, MSR PT


The patient is a 72-year-old male hospitalized with a GI bleed and acute blood loss anemia. He has functional decline. His medical history includes CHF with left ventricular dysfunction, left ventricular ischemic cardiomyopathy, EF = 30%, atrial fibrillation, CAD, HTN, COPD, continuous O2 @ 2L/min, PVD, diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, chronic venous stasis, chronic kidney disease (stage III) and morbid obesity. Prior to hospitalization, the patient was Modified Independent with transfers and ambulation > 500 feet on a variety of surfaces using a Rollator Walker (RW). However, upon admission to this rehab facility, the patient required Moderate Assist for transfers and Max Assist for ambulation x 3 steps using RW. His standing activity tolerance was less than one minute.

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  • Modified Independence with sit-stand/bed-chair/toilet
  • Modified Independence with ambulation > 500 feet on
    even/uneven surfaces with RW.
  • Return home with family assistance prn.

History / Progression

  • Significant functional decline after initial hospitalization.
  • Classified as possible Hospice candidate.
  • Demonstrated hypotensive episodes with position changes.
  • O2 saturation level < 90% with standing, frequent rest periods required. O2 saturation recovery above 90% required 1.5 minutes.
  • Initiated core strengthening program to improve balance and trunk control to facilitate safe transfers.
  • Gradual increase in repetitions and resistance during ther ex with patient supine, seated, and standing.
  • Educated patient on energy conservation techniques.
  • Second hospitalization for anemia and C-diff 4 weeks after facility admission.
  • Initiated use of AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill 9 weeks after patient’s initial admission to this rehab facility.
  • Used AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill physical therapy equipment x 4weeks.


This patient received PT services 5x/week over the course of 100 days. He demonstrated progress with transfer ability and core strength using conventional treatment methods, but had limited improvement with standing activity tolerance and gait distance. With the combination of conventional treatment and the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill with physical therapy exercise, the patient was able to return home with his family at a SBA level for transfers and ambulation > 500 feet on even and uneven surfaces using a RW.

When use of the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill was initiated, patient:

  • Ambulated 80 feet on even surfaces with frequent rest periods using RW
  • Required Mod Assist of 2 to step into the cockpit of the AlterG
  • O2 saturation levels often dropped below 90%.

After 4 weeks of combined treatment methods, patient:

  • Ambulated > 500 feet with RW
  • Required only SBA to enter/exit the treadmill.
  • O2 saturation level consistently above 90%

To summarize, the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill was incorporated into this treatment program to improve the patient’s standing tolerance and gait distance. He could not walk without frequent rest periods due to his cardiopulmonary deficits. The AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill allowed the patient to incrementally increase his body weight, leading to improvement in endurance and greater distances ambulated on even and uneven surfaces. In addition, the cameras and TV monitor provided the necessary visual input to improve the patient’s step length and base of support during ambulation.

The AlterG was a vital component of this patient’s treatment plan and recovery. Use of the Anti-Gravity Treadmill, combined with conventional treatment methods, allowed the patient to achieve his ultimate goal-to return home.