The Spartan allows someone else to control your movements, so you’ll need a partner to operate the Spartan while you are training. Your partner can be your PT or a non-professional such as a family member, friend, or caretaker. This partner must educate themselves on how to use the device and read & understand safety notes and the entire user manual. If using a non-professional, we strongly advise having a PT or experienced trainer oversee your learning period with the Spartan for the first few sessions, or until everyone is comfortable with the operator's understanding and performance.
Two Prerequisites to Spartan Training
Getting started with the Spartan is easy, but we want to make sure you have everything you need to be successful. Here is what you’ll need to use the Spartan for your at-home training:
1) A Partner / Operator
2) A Support System
The Spartan is not a self-contained gait training solution, it is designed to fit within a larger system of moving parts. Working with the right support system is crucial for success!
The support system needs to help the Trainee control their hips and trunk during gait training exercises. To determine what type of support system is needed, Trainees should consider how capable they are in extending at the hips, bringing the pelvis forward, and shifting weight laterally to the right and left.
If a Trainee can perform these functions on their own, great! Most likely require some support for their hips and trunk during training.
The most common way to assist with these motions is with canes, a walker, or parallel bars. If the Trainee has adequate hand and arm function, they can push and pull the supports to move their hips and trunk. Platform walkers that have wheels which can be rotationally locked and directionally locked are very helpful for this.
If the Trainee does not have adequate hand and arm function, another option is to use a bodyweight support harnessing system or to involve a third person to manually assist with these motions from behind the Trainee.
In many cases the Trainee is able to advance the support system on their own, by nudging it forward between each step. However, if this is too difficult or interrupts the smooth flow of stepping, it is strongly advised to take this responsibility out of the Trainee’s hands and give it to the Operator or a third person.
Choosing the right support system is all about giving the Trainee what they need to control their hips and trunk during gait training. There is a strong correlation between overall gait quality and how well the patient can extend their trunk and perform lateral and anterior weight shifts.