Mount Sinai Gait Program

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Will A Shoe Fix My Knee Pain?

For over the three years, Mount Sinai Downtown Dept of Rehab Medicine and Human Performance has implemented a new program in the outpatient physical therapy division called The Mount Sinai Gait Program. Making patients with knee osteoarthritis and low back pain walk to fix themselves. Well… Sort of…

Through a thorough evaluation done by an AposTherapy Certified Physical Therapist, patients are given a shoe like biomechanics device (AposTherapy shoe) to alter the way their muscles move and respond when they walk. The patients wear the device for up to an hour a day while doing their normal everyday activities (cooking, cleaning, watching TV).

The AposTherapy shoe is adjusted periodically by the AposTherapy Certified Physical Therapist. The patients first follow up is 4 weeks after the initial evaluation, second follow up is eight weeks after the first follow up, then each additional follow up is every twelve weeks. Meaning a patient is only seen in the Physical Therapist office a total of six times in the year. This is unlike most Physical Therapy treatments which require the patient to be seen two to three times a week for several weeks (possibly months). This gives the patients a sense of freedom to continue their treatment on their own if they have a busy personal schedule or are traveling.

The AposTherapy shoe works by changing the ground reaction force during the patients gait cycle. Meaning, the AposTherapy shoe changes the center of pressure with each step a patient takes. This shifts the line of force closer to the center of the knee with each position of the foot contact on the ground. By doing this the patient restores alignment and improves their gait pattern over time.

The concept of Apostherapy was created in 2004 by Dr. Avi Elbaz and Dr. Amit Mor in Israel. Over the past decade AposTherapy has expanded to England, Singapore and now has a corporate headquarters in New York CIty.

Currently the only insurance that covers the cost of AposTherapy is HealthFirst. If a patient wishes to pay out of pocket, the cost of the device and treatment for the year is $5,000. Not a bad investment if you are looking for a cost effective way to reduce knee pain and possibly avoid surgery.

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Steven Venegas, PT, DPT

Steven Venegas, PT, DPT is Senior Physical Therapist at Mount Sinai Downtown Dept of Rehab Medicine and Human Performance

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