Physical Therapy Update: the Super Walker

Yesterday, I said…’However, there is one piece of equipment that is quite different.’

Today, I explain!

The piece of equipment that is definitely unlike how the other girls learned to walk is what I call the "Super Walker" (insert echoing voice).

It is the fanciest piece of equipment that our therapist has let us borrow yet...and the most expensive, if we were to damage it! Try something like $1500!

It's technical name is the Rifton MiniPacer and adjusts in a bazillion different ways. The wheels can be adjusted to go forward, backward, lock, go slow, go fast or anywhere in between. You can make them swivel for turning or lock in a straight-only position. The height adjusts. The handles can move forward or backward, up and down. There was a chest harness initially so she didn't tip over. She thought that was there so she could do the "Look, Mom! No feet!" trick (lifting them up and hanging).

At first, we harnessed her in around her chest (to keep her upright!) and taught her how to move her feet in a walking position. A little hard on the knees or lower back, but thankfully she was a very quick learner! We did short sessions in there...like 5 minutes. She only tolerated so much before she would just pull her feet up and hang! After several weeks, of this combined with other PT exercises, our PT took the chest harness off and Lily began only using the handles as support. Since she'd already learned to move her "rightie" then her "leftie" and then her "rightie" again, this was an amazingly easy transition for her. She really seems to love that she can go without help. She's been crawling over to the walker and getting in all by herself!

For the last 2 weeks, we have been working on teaching her to swing "rightie" (her non-prosthetic leg) all the way through. Apparently, most amputees want to stay on their full leg as long as possible because it feels more safe or comfortable and as a result end up taking very short steps with the full leg (they want to stay on it as long as possible!). Our prosthetist said they usually tell older patients to take shorter steps with the leg with the prosthetic and longer steps with their non-prosthetic leg and this will usually correct the gait. Lily's too young to get this, so we have to follow behind and help her. The idea is this will build up "muscle memory" of the correct way to stride.

Here are a couple of cute pictures of her in her walker...

Here's a video of her walking in the walker. It's a little long and not the greatest, but she's just oh-so-cute that it kind of makes up for it!

In Him,


  1. Thank you so much for posting this! You sent me this link to your blog in a yahoo group we are part of. I really think our little son will benefit from a walker like this as well :) Your little girl is darling, by the way :)

    1. So thankful this was helpful! If you are using a physical therapist, they could give you additional direction and help you order one through a medical supplies company. Our local one came to the house while the PT was there and listened to her needs and went through catalogs with us (this is for the gold walker, not the one in the post). Also...Lily could walk long before she was willing to...we all knew it. But she wouldn't walk until she was totally convinced she could and we just had to wait for that to come.

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