Frequently Asked Questions

Here are our responses to questions we frequently receive. If you don't see your question/answer here, or would like further information, don't hesitate to contact us!

How can I book an appointment?

A physiotherapy assessment is required before booking a session on the Lokomat. Prospective clients can arrange to view the Lokomat in use prior to booking a session. To make an appointment call NeuroMotion Vancouver (604)-732-8500, Victoria (250) 590-7878.

Are there emergency features?

Clients are closely supervised while on the Lokomat with a therapist always present for the entire session. There are five emergency stops on the Lokomat for use by either the therapist or client. The Lokomat will immediately shut off if there are any adverse joint angles or forces.

Have there been any serious events involving the Lokomat?

Any serous events are reported to Hocoma in Switzerland. To date the only serious event, which occurred in Europe, has been a fractured foot in an osteoporotic client due to the foot lifter slipping off. Currently, in our clinic, we have had three incidences of skin abrasions. New practices in protecting skin have since been adapted to address this issue. Skin integrity is considered when evaluating a client’s appropriateness for use of the Lokomat.

Who can operate the Lokomat?

The Lokomat system should be operated by trained personnel only. Prospective users are trained by a Hocoma approved instructor or by a certified Lokomat user, and must have passed a theoretical test.

What outcome measures are used to evaluate progress?

There are a number of difference outcome measures that can be used to evaluate progress both on and off the Lokomat system, a few are listed below.

  • ROM (particularly hip and ankle)

  • Strength

  • Distance and Time

  • Speed tolerated

  • Timed Up and Go

  • Reported number of falls

How often should a client use the Lokomat?

This varies between individuals. Typically, clients are on the Lokomat one to three times per week. Goals and outcome measure are used to evaluate a client’s progress after four weeks of use and thereafter, every twelve weeks.

How much does a Lokomat physiotherapy session cost?

Please call the clinic at which you would like to use the Lokomat.

How long is a Lokomat session?

Each Lokomat session is an hour long with the goal that the client walks for 45 minutes depending upon the client’s abilities and tolerance. Time is gradually built up as the client’s tolerance increases.

Is the Lokomat funded through ICBC or other third party payers?

The Lokomat is part of the physiotherapy treatment session and is not billed separately. Individual coverage will differ depending upon the third party payer. A letter of justification can be sent to the third party payer explaining the difference in cost associated with the treatment sessions that include the Lokomat.

Do you need a doctors referral?

A doctor’s referral is not required for use of the Lokomat. A letter will be sent to the client’s physician informing her/him that the Lokomat is being used during therapy sessions.

What is the minimum/maximum height and weight for using the Lokomat

  • Max weight – 135kg =300lbs
  • Max height – 2m = 6’5”

  • Distance greater trochanter to knee joint cavity between 350-470mm

  • Pelvic width between 290-510mm

What are the contraindications to using the Lokomat?

  • Severely fixed contractures
  • Non-consolidated fractures, unstable spinal column
  • Severe osteoporosis
  • Open skin lesions in the area of the lower limbs and torso
  • Circulatory problems
  • Cardiac contraindications
  • Extremely disproportionate growth of the legs and/or spinal column (eg. Bone or cartilage dysplasia)
  • Severe vascular disorders of the lower limbs
  • Osteomyelitis or other inflammatory/infectious disorders
  • Surgically fused hip, knee, ankle joints

What conditions can the Lokomat system be used for?

  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)

  • Cerebral palsy (CP)

  • Parkinson’s disease

  • Paraplegia

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)

  • Endoprosthesis (eg. Total hip endoprosthesis)

  • Hemiplegic patients

  • Degenerative joint diseases of the lower limbs (eg. osteoarthritis of the knee)

  • Spinal muscular atrophy

  • Muscle weakness due to lack of mobility

Who can benefit from using the Lokomat?

In principle, all gait-impaired patients, whether the cause of the impairment is cerebral, spinal, neurogenic, muscular, or osseous, can be trained with the Lokomat system. Most of the data gathered to date on the Lokomat system is based on experiences with patients with spinal cord injury, storke, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy.

What are the benefits of Lokomat training?

Locomotion therapy supported by an automated gait orthosis on a treadmill has established itself as an effective intervention for improving over-ground walking function caused by neurological disease and injuries. Advantages of the Lokomat include:

  • A driven robotic gait orthosis guides the patient’s legs on treadmill offering a wide range of training possibilities.

  • Faster progress through longer and more intensive training sessions compared to manual treadmill training

  • Physical strain on therapists is relieved, single operator mode

  • Patient walking activity is easily monitored and assessed

  • Improved motivation through visualized performance feedback

  • Gait pattern and guidance force are individually adjustable to the patient’s needs

What is the Lokomat?

The Lokomat system consists of the Lokomat (robotic gait orthosis), the Lokobasis (body weight support system) and is used in combination with a treadmill. The client is suspended in a harness over a treadmill and the frame of the robot, attached by straps to the outside of the legs, moves the legs in a natural walking pattern.  The computer controlled guidance allows individual adjustments of different gait parameters. The Lokomat is made and distributed by Hocoma, a company based in Switzerland. It was first approved by FDA for use in the US March 2002. More information about the Lokomat and Hocoma can be found at their website: www.hocoma.com

Ryan C Past client
I started going to Neuromotion after a car accident that broke my back. The first thing I noticed was the positive atmosphere, and the general concern for my overall progress. What else is great is having someone who is smart at what they do and ask about my goals. Doctors told me I would never walk again and now I can walk with two canes. I have completed my goals of walking 2 kilometres, walking up 25 flights of stairs, and taking a month-long road trip to Alaska thanks to Neuromotion!
Davin M Past volunteer
What makes the clinic so special is that is has such a positive atmosphere. Every time I go there, I am impressed by the determination of the clients, and how the therapists connect and motivate them to achieve their goals. The whole Neuromotion team really comes together to create an encouraging environment that is focused on the success of the clients. (Davin is now pursuing his degree in Physiotherapy at the University of British Columbia)
Lawrence M Client
Throughout the entire 11 month therapy I have received: compassionate care, consistency, competence, enthusiasm and above all else , the opinion that improvement was possible. Suffice to say , I shall continue therapy at Neuromotion and categorically encourage any person with CNS impairment to become a patient at Neuromotion; they will excel.  
Gordon C Client
I have an incomplete high-level spinal cord injury and I have been going to Neuromotion for over a year. I have since "graduated" from the Lokomat and I am now walking on the treadmill with my own power and full body weight. I would consider Neuromotion one of the most professional and competent physiotherapy providers in Metro Vancouver, particularly in the specialized field of treating people with neurological health issues that affect their mobility.
Ralph T Client
I have had foot drop for over a year - I started coming to the clinic and the progress has been quite impressive - I can now walk with almost no noticeable impact from the foot drop and have improved my gait.  I like the attitude in the clinic - upbeat, compassionate and personalized to my needs.
Laurel J Volunteer
I’m Laurel and I volunteer at Neuromotion Physiotherapy and have enjoyed my time here a lot. The staff and clients are all super friendly and welcoming, and create a positive atmosphere. I have learned quite a bit while I have been here and find practical experience to be more fulfilling than schoolwork, although you really do need both. I like seeing people work towards their goals and gain the confidence that they can reach them. I think Neuromotion helps people to live healthier lives!
Heather B Client
By coming to Neuromotion I came to understand exercise is not optional but imperative to living well with Parkinson's Disease.