Håkon is a 5-year-old boy with the rare Vici syndrome, which has given psychological and physical disability. He is asymmetrical, which means there is a difference in function in the two body halves, especially the legs are inactive and have low tone. Håkon has relatively good function in upper body and arms, and today he can move around independently in his wheelchair inhouse.
The syndrome Håkon has, appeared in an early stage by the absence of spontaneous activity in the legs, and gradually he became spastic in his legs and it developed into significant spasticity. Despite this, he liked to be positioned into standing. This triggered the physiotherapist Synøve Rusten to get into action at an early age.
The goal was to bring Håkon into dynamic standing position with weight bearing to stimulate the circulation, increase upper body stability, maintain range of motion and if possible, reduce contractures. It was also important to stimulate and improve his communication and interaction with others.
When Håkon was 15 months, he got his first NF-Walker. Both in the kindergarten and at home they worked on walking movements with assistance of walking sticks. To intensify walking activity, the Innowalk was introduced a year later. In the kindergarten they usually start with 20-30 minutes of movement in the Innowalk, and directly after this session he get into the NF-Walker. Eventually they saw that the motorized walking movement was transferable to the NF-Walker and Håkon took his first self-initiated steps.
Despite progress and the fact that Håkon shows great satisfaction when standing and moving he developed contractures in the legs. Surgical intervention was unavoidable, and at the age of 4 1/2 years, he had hamstrings and gastrocnemius extended on both sides. Already a week after the surgery the NF-Walker was adjust to his needs of stretching the muscles on back of his thighs using stretching straps. Håkon used the NF-Walker this way for 3 months. By this we secured good range of motion with weight bearing to promote his opportunity for walking later.
After the surgery the spasticity is reduced, and the result has been a boost in spontaneous motor skills. He is now able to move into sitting position, pull himself forward on the tummy and can get into 4-point standing og push actively of with his feet when his supported into standing. Head control has also improved.
Good standing position in both the Innowalk and the NF-Walker stimulates active use of hands in play and interaction. Håkon is very fond of music and has a keyboard at home and a piano in the kindergarten, which he is playing while in the NF-Walker.
By breaking up sedentary behavior they have seen improvement on gastrointestinal function.
When Håkon gets into the standing position he is one big smile!
– SYNØVE RUSTEN, PHYSIOTHERAPIST