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Walk Without AFO 

Staff Writer


After ten years in research and development the FDA has approved the WalkAide System from Innovative Neurotronics.  The WalkAide product was designed to provide improvement of ankle dorsiflexion for patients that experience foot drop from various central nervous system conditions.

 

The system utilizes sophisticated electrical sensor technology and software to create a customized pattern for walking based on the movement of an individual's leg and foot.  Once the pattern is established, the system sends an electrical simulation to the appropriate nerve so the muscles are activated to lift the foot when needed.   The end result is an improved gait cycle with a much more natural, efficient and safe pattern of walking.


The WalkAide is very small and discreet, and very easy to use.  It consists of a battery-operated, single-channel electrical stimulator, two electrodes and electrode leads.  It does not require surgery or the use of orthopedic or special shoes.  There is minimal contact with the user allowing for maximum comfort.

 

Individuals with foot drop associated with the following central nervous system conditions may benefit from the WalkAide: Cerebrovascular accident, incomplete spinal cord injury or lesion, traumatic brain injury or chronic brain lesion, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and other upper motor neuron lesions.

 

However, an in-depth evaluation by a trained clinician will provide the final determination for the patient's suitability for the system.  A prescription is required.

 

WalkAide Patient Benefits:

  • Activates the intact portion of the neuromuscular system to generate movement
  • Reduces the increased effort associated with walking with foot drop by stimulating and controlling  foot/ankle alignment during the swing phase of the gait cycle
  • Small, self-contained unit offers easy, one-handed application and operation
  • Does not require orthopedic or special footwear
  • Includes an exercise mode that allows a home-based therapeutic program
  • May improve circulation, reduce atrophy, improve voluntary control and increase joint


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