Do you currently have trouble walking?
Are you aware that your current walking issues are different than what you are used to?
The purpose of this article is to discuss the use of FES, to help people walk better if they suffer from foot drop. Patients who suffer from upper motor neuron pathologies that require assistance with walking better can benefit from the use of functional electrical stimulation. When we refer to patients with foot drop we are talking foot drop as a symptom of a greater condition.
2.) Common foot drop issues stem from, but are not limited to:
A.) Multiple Sclerosis
B. CVA / Stroke
C.) Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
D. Cerebral Palsy
E.) Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury
F.) Familial Spastic Paraplegia
3.) Functional Electrical Stimulation Benefits
A.) Increased Gait Speed
B.) Decreased energy expenditure, which can lead to an increase in endurance for the patient.
C.) Spasticity reduction
D.) Improved gait kinematics
E.) Increase in functional status for the patient.
4.) The WalkAide system
This device can help to dorsiflex a patient's foot in swing phase. In English, what does this mean? All this means is that the patient will use the WalkAide system to lift their foot up as they swing their leg through in successful steps. (The term dorsiflex means to raise the foot upward, in the direction of a patient's nose.) The ultimate goal of using the WalkAide system is that you will not need to hip hike, or circumduct your leg to take a step. These are gait deviations that people employ to walk along if they have a foot drop. You do not want to have to use these gait deviations to walk along, because they are not natural. These deviations may not hurt you, but it is not the best thing for your gait cycle. The electrical stimulation to the peroneal nerve will send impulses to the muscles that help to control the foot. As a result, you will find that you will be able to lift the foot up and not drag your toes when you walk along.
Note: This is good health information. However, when it comes to learning more about medical advice and FES, then it is best that you speak with your local, licensed orthotist. They will be able to provide you with the best medical advice on the WalkAide system and tell you if you are a candidate for its use.