Amputee Krystal Bogdahn Learns to Walk Again withVirtual Reality

Krystal Bogdahn, who had her leg amputated due to Charcot joint disease, is using virtual reality technology to learn to walk again at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals. With the help of a physical therapist, Bogdahn is regaining mobility and independence through VR training sessions.

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Amputee Krystal Bogdahn Learns to Walk Again withVirtual Reality

Amputee Krystal Bogdahn Learns to Walk Again withVirtual Reality

Krystal Bogdahn, a patient at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals, is learning to walk again using virtual reality technology after having her leg amputated below the knee due to Charcot joint disease. With over 3 million Americans predicted to experiencesurgical limb lossby 2050, Bogdahn's journey highlights the critical role technology will play in the future of rehabilitation.

Why this matters: As the number of amputations is expected to rise, innovative rehabilitation methods like virtual reality technology will become increasingly important in helping patients regain mobility and independence. This technology has the potential to revolutionize the field of rehabilitation, improving the quality of life for millions of people.

Bogdahn's path to amputation began when she went to the hospital feeling ill and was diagnosed with a deep infection in her foot. Despite being warned about the possibility of losing her leg due to Charcot joint disease in her 30s, Bogdahn didn't believe it would actually happen. Days after her diagnosis, doctors removed her leg below the knee.

Determined to walk again, Bogdahn turned to virtual reality technology provided by healthcare company Penumbra to aid in her rehabilitation. The VR headset immerses her in virtual environments like beaches and pinball machines, while sensors help her balance in the real world. Bogdahn's physical therapist, Micala Hueber, guides her through training sessions that can last up to three hours.

"I want to walk again. I want to go up the observation deck at Mahoney State Park. Like, that's a dream of mine to be able to do that," Bogdahn said. She is currently waiting for a prosthetic and is excited about the possibilities the technology offers. "I'm actually going to walk better than I did with the trauma I had with my own leg. And for me, that's just really exciting," she added.

Hueber explained that the VR training helps Bogdahn navigate daily tasks with one leg, such as getting out of bed, into a wheelchair, or using the restroom. "So, helping her navigate through that as well as strengthening. So how do you transfer with one leg or to get out of bed to get to a wheelchair chair, toilet, all that good stuff,"Hueber said.

Bogdahn's determination is evident as she works up tothree-hour sessionswith the VR technology. "This isn't the end of my journey,"she emphasized. With the help of cutting-edge rehabilitation techniques and her own unwavering spirit, Bogdahn is confident she will regain her mobility and live an active life once again.

Key Takeaways

  • Krystal Bogdahn learns to walk again using VR tech after leg amputation.
  • 3 million Americans predicted to experience surgical limb loss by 2050.
  • VR tech helps Bogdahn regain mobility and independence.
  • VR training aids in daily tasks, strengthening, and navigation with one leg.
  • Bogdahn determined to walk again, excited about VR tech possibilities.