Allied Health Professionals keeps physical therapists up to speed on the latest developments in technology and rehabilitation. Recently, we discovered the new WalkAide® system, which could prove to be a valuable asset for physical therapists who treat patients with foot drop.
For people dealing with upper motor neuron injuries or central nervous system disorders, such as multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy, side effects like foot drop can be frustrating outward signs of an inward struggle. People with foot drop have difficulty lifting the front part of their foot, making it a challenge to walk. Sometimes, foot drop is temporary. In many cases, however, foot drop is permanent.
Physical therapists know that working with patients to strengthen, stretch and return mobility to the foot and ankle is a challenging process. People with foot drop typically use an ankle foot orthosis , which stabilizes the foot and ankle but doesn’t help restore a normal walking pattern.
Alternatively, WalkAide is a functional orthotic that compensates for a patient’s deficits but also helps with neuromotor recovery. In most cases, WalkAide helps patients walk freely. Often, WalkAide use helps prevent muscle atrophy.
WalkAide uses functional electrical stimulation (FES), which prompts the foot to lift at the appropriate time. A trained clinician customizes and programs the device for an individual’s specific gait, activity level and foot drop severity.
To learn more about this technology and how it may help your patients, visit WalkAide’s website. We’ll share more new tools and techniques for occupational, speech and physical therapists in future posts.