The two-story Margaret & Mark Stephan Legs + Walking Lab spans two floors in the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (23-24), which are connected by a therapeutic, practical and graceful flight of stairs. In this Lab patients, doctors and researchers focus on body-weight support and large motor and rhythmic limb functions influenced by spinal cord and brain circuits. Therapeutic intervention makes use of anti-gravity support and weight-bearing assistive devices, which are used to support patients as they work on climbing and descending the Lab’s staircase. Treatments focus on trunk and pelvis stability, positioning and control of the hips, knees and ankles, as well as stepping and propulsion.
The pursuit of new therapies in the Legs + Walking Lab include the application of technology, biological materials and pharmacological and other therapies specific to neural action — which together promise the most exciting and hopeful advances available to enhance locomotion, gait and walking.