Search Virginia Mason News

Therapy Car
The therapy car enables total joint replacement patients to simulate getting in and out of a real vehicle as part of their rehabilitation.

SEATTLE – (May 3, 2017) – The “therapy car” invented at Virginia Mason to help orthopedic surgery patients practice the physical motions needed to get in and out of a real vehicle without falling has been licensed for commercial production and distribution.

The simulation car is licensed for manufacturing by Texas-based MJM International and is being distributed by Performance Health and Medline. Virginia Mason receives a percentage of each sale.

The device is constructed of light-weight, health-grade PVC tubing and connectors that allow a variety of configurations to assist patients as they practice specific movements under the supervision of physical and occupational therapists.

It can be adjusted to correspond with the seat height for the type of real vehicle (i.e., compact, sedan or sports utility vehicle) the patient is likely to get in when he or she leaves the hospital following total hip or knee replacement surgery. The simulation car has wheels so therapists can easily move it around as needed to meet the patient’s needs.

“I was so appreciative for the opportunity of using the therapy car at the hospital after recovering from hip replacement surgery,” said Nancy Adams, a Virginia Mason patient. “It was so comforting learning how to successfully enter and exit a car. The therapy car gave me the confidence that I could maneuver safely on my own so soon after surgery.”

In developing the prototype, occupational and physical therapists collaborated with other Virginia Mason team members during a workshop in 2014. A vendor representative with an engineering background created the schematic design based on the list of functional requirements.

With a commercial manufacturer and distributor lined up, the therapy car that got its start at Virginia Mason can now be obtained and used by health care professionals around the world.

About Virginia Mason Health System
Virginia Mason, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit regional health care system based in Seattle that serves the Pacific Northwest. In the Puget Sound region, the system includes 336-bed Virginia Mason Hospital; a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 500 physicians; regional medical centers in Seattle, Bainbridge Island, Bellevue, Federal Way, Kirkland, Issaquah and Lynnwood; Bailey-Boushay House, the first skilled-nursing and outpatient chronic care management program in the United States designed and built specifically to meet the needs of people with HIV/AIDS; Benaroya Research Institute, which is internationally recognized for autoimmune disease research; and Virginia Mason Institute, which trains health care professionals and others from around the world in the Virginia Mason Production System, an innovative management methodology for continually improving quality, safety and efficiency. Virginia Mason online:

Virginia Mason Health System also includes Virginia Mason Memorial, a 226-bed hospital serving the Yakima Valley in central Washington since 1950. Memorial online:

Media Contact:
Gale Robinette
Media Relations Manager
Virginia Mason Health System
(206) 341-1509

Back to Search