Dr. Beverly Attaway isn't one to just sit around.
"I exercise all the time. I'm at the gym all the time."
The dentist, who practices at the VA Hospital in Shreveport, noticed something was wrong when her right foot began spasming about two years ago.
"I was having them, like, once a month and I recorded whenever I had those. It was usually early in the morning at rest, before I ever got out of bed," Armandy says.
After a battery of tests, doctors discovered a tumor in her brain. Though it turned out to be benign, it had to be removed immediately.
"Where mine was, it was further back here so it affected the extremity."
Because of its location, the tumor has affected her ability to properly use her right leg. But a new technology called Bioness is quickly getting Attaway back on her feet.
"In patients particularly that have a stroke or patients that have multiple sclerosis, Bioness will then kind of bombard the system - the brain - with this sensory input," says Dr. Suzanne Tinsley, Associate Professor in the Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences at LSU Health Shreveport.
Tinsley says Bioness helps people who have suffered neurological damage by firing nerves in the arms, hands, legs or feet to make muscles contract when the brain cannot.
"Through the technology, we can mimic in the gait cycle. For walking, we can control both the ankle and the knee."
Using bluetooth technology, a sensor is placed in the shoe. It then sends different intensities based on the patient's need to help them regain a normal walking pace.
"If they feel that by us providing that muscle contraction through this external device, through something very functional as walking, then maybe the brain will pick up the activity to re-learn or re-organize to control that muscle," says Tinsley.
Now nine weeks out of surgery, every lap around the track for Attaway is a step closer to complete recovery.
"Each week I get stroinger and I know my stamina," Attaway says.
LSU Health Shreveport is the only facility in the area with this technology. Dr. Tinsley says about 75 patients have benefitted from the system so far.
If you think you could benefit from this technology, you can try it out for free.
An open clinic will be on Wednesday, October 10th, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., in the Allied Health building on the LSU Heath Shreveport campus.
To make an appointment, just call (318) 813-2970.