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Posts Tagged ‘foot drop’

Morning in the Ballroom Part 3

Posted by katewillette on April 14, 2008

Next is technlogy from Bioness designed to deal with the problem of foot drop. It’s apparently a stimulator that goes off and on during the gait cycle, intended for use to provide ankle dorsiflexion.  The potential user must have an intact peripheral nervous system.

The thing consists of a cuff with an e-stim unit.  It looks like a little knee brace–not an afo, but just a cuff like you might wear if you had a knee injury.  Theres a small control unit that turns it on and off and regulates the intensity; it also has modes for walking and for doing pt.  Theres’a gait sensor that actually allows for adaptation to the environment, including edema and spasticity.

The electrodes go on the leg in 2 places, one on the side of the knee and one in front that activates the tibialis muscle.

She’s got a video of the sensor detecting pressure on the heel and sending a message up to the cuff to tell it when the stim should be on or off.  It knows how much tone the leg is having, and it goes into sleep mode when you’re not walking.  It knows when you’re on grass or gravel or pavement.  The control unit is wireless.

Oh good, a demo —

A man walks up with one of these cuffs attached to his leg, his pants rolled up so we can see it.  His name is Duane Morrow and he’s an incomplete quad who broke his neck playing rugby in England.  he had no feeling below his chest and no movement below his chest.  He’s sort of a poster child for pushing the edge with aggressive re-hab; at one point he got the baclofen implant we talked about earlier this morning, because he had a stomach issue that left him with ridiculous spasticity. . . this got him back into therapy.  He was at the Shepherd Center and when he had met all his goals there he challenged them to do a program like Extreme Therapy.  that’s what the Shepherd Center has going on now.

He’s got 5 kids born in 3 states in 2 countries . . . he says, “the last thing I wanted to be was a burden to my wife.”

Aetna covered the Bioness unit after 6 months because he was able to go back and get them to see that it had actually served a medical purpose and made him better.

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