Individuals with neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, stroke or spinal cord injury, often have difficulty walking. Specifically, they may have a condition called Foot Drop, which is characterized by weakness or paralysis of the muscles that control the foot. This may result in the foot or the toe of the shoe being dragged on the ground, making walking uncomfortable or even impossible.
A new Neuro Prosthetic device called the WalkAide is designed to restore a smoother, more natural gait, enabling users to walk faster, for longer distances with less fatigue. The device is now available through the hospital’s Prosthetic Orthotic Center, which became certified in fitting, customizing supplying the WalkAide for patient use.
The WalkAide utilizes functional electrical stimulation to restore the nerve-to-muscle signal in the leg and foot. Walking becomes a smoother, safer and more natural motion. Basically, the gentle electrical impulses activate the muscles to raise the foot at the appropriate time.
The small, easily operated device is battery operated, with two electrodes and electrode leads. It is applied directly to the leg with a cuff holding it comfortably in place. The WalkAide can be worn discreetly under clothing. It also permits walking barefoot, something that cannot be done with conventional bracing. The WalkAide may improve not only gait, but also circulation and joint range of motion.
For additional information, contact the Prosthetic Orthotic Center at 845-786-4122.