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FAQ
 How long has the Mk II Hart Walker been available in North America?
 Will my child be able to use the Mk II Hart Walker?
 What are the size limitations of the Mk II Hart Walker?
 How often will the Mk II Hart Walker have to be replaced?
 Is the two-wheeled Mk II Hart Walker a totally separate device?
 When will my child be ready for the two-wheeled Hart Walker system?
 Is the Mk II Hart Walker covered by my insurance company?

 How long has the Mk II Hart Walker been available in North America?
 

The original Hart Walker was developed in 1989 by David Hart in Keighley, England. This was known as the Mk I Hart Walker. It was designed to help a young boy with cerebral palsy to stand and take steps. After working with the Mk I Hart Walker for four years, David realized its limitations and redesigned the walker, keeping all of the good points but changing all of its elements in need of improvement. This led to the development of the Mk II Hart Walker in 1993, a greatly improved version of the Mk I Hart Walker. The Mk I Hart Walker has since been copied and sold under other names. David could only provide enough Mk II Hart Walkers to fit children in the United Kingdom and in 1998 found it necessary to find a North American company to manufacture the walker in larger numbers for use in North America and Australia. The clinicians at OrthoProActive Consultants were asked to be the first clinical team in North America to be trained by David Hart to assess and fit children with the Mk II Hart Walker. In the fall of 1998, the team from OrthoProActive was trained and became the first clinic to have the expertise to bring the Mk II Hart Walker to the children in North America.
 

 

 Will my child be able to use the Mk II Hart Walker?
 

Every child with musculoskeletal involvement presents with different challenges. In order to use the Mk II Hart Walker most effectively, your child must be able to initiate a stepping motion. The suspension mechanism of the Mk II Hart Walker is adjustable to support as much of the child’s weight as is necessary to hold them in an upright posture and still allow partial weight bearing through their own legs. The bracing system will maintain the children’s limb and joint position in the proper alignment as they take steps, eliminating unwanted movements such as scissoring of the feet.

 What are the size limitations of the Mk II Hart Walker?
 

While it is most advantageous to start as young as possible, there is a minimum height requirement in order to fit the componentry together and still fit the child properly. A measurement of 15 ½” from the hip centre to the sole of the foot is necessary to begin fitting a child with the Mk II Hart Walker. The walker is then adjustable to fit a young teen as tall as 30” from hip centre to the sole of the foot. The base of the walker is adjustable and when adjusted appropriately to provide maximum stability and balance according to the individual’s height, there is no fear of tipping. In fact, there has never been a report of a child tipping during appropriate use of the Mk II Hart Walker. If a child is able to progress through the Hart Walker System to the stage of using the two-wheeled base, or be at a developmental stage that allows the initial use of the two-wheeled base, a maximum height does not have to be considered.
 

 

 How often will the Mk II Hart Walker have to be replaced?
 

The Mk II Hart Walker was designed with a child’s growth in mind.  The four-wheeled base of the system is telescopic and is easily enlarged for stability as your child grows; only one base is necessary. This is much different from the first version of the Hart Walker, (which has been copied by other manufacturers), and other similar walker designs, which used three different sizes of bases that had to be replaced as the children grew.  This type of base was much heavier and bulkier and did not allow the walker to be maneuvered around doorways and furniture as easily. 

The bracing system itself incorporates an overall growth potential of eight inches from the hip to the sole of the foot.  At that point, the uprights are simply replaced using the same hip, knee and ankle joints and the amount of growth potential starts over.
 

 Is the two-wheeled Mk II Hart Walker a totally separate device?
 

The Mk II Hart Walker System has been designed to provide a progressive path towards independent ambulation for children with motor impairments.  There are two different styles of bases but the bracing system remains the same.  Most children will start in the four-wheeled base with the bracing system to learn the concept of independent standing, proper alignment and sequence of gait.  As they continue to learn balance and weight-shift, they may be ready to progress to the two–wheeled base of the Hart Walker System.  The bracing system remains the same and is compatible with both bases.  When the child is ready to use the two-wheeled base, only the two-wheeled base need be purchased, not the entire system.  The new base can then be used for further development in balance and weight shift while still providing support from the front and back.  In most cases, children that have progressed to the two-wheeled base continue to use the four-wheeled base when immediate supervision is not available.

 When will my child be ready for the two-wheeled Hart Walker system?
 

Due to each child’s varying challenges, all children may not progress to the two-wheeled stage but it gives many children a chance at further progression towards walking without any base at all.  The transition from the 4-wheeled base to the 2-wheeled base is similar to going from a tricycle to a bicycle.  While support in front and behind is provided, the children must be able to find their own balance point from side to side.    This allows the development of normal weight shifting to take a step while still supporting as much body weight as is necessary to maintain an erect posture.

Many children use the 4-wheeled system for independent ambulation and incorporate the 2-wheeled system for therapy, gait training and further development toward unassisted ambulation.
 

 Is the Mk II Hart Walker covered by my insurance company?
 

While each insurance company is different, many families have received either full or partial payment for the Mk II Hart Walker from their insurance company. Check the details of your policy and find out what is necessary for submission, ie. physicians letter, input from a physiotherapist, etc.

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