Monday, March 21, 2011

Foot Drop Due to a Stroke (CVA) - AFOs And The WalkAide - Medical Supplies to Help With Walking

Have you, or someone you know, suffered from a stroke (CVA)?

Nobody wants to be held back due to a stroke, so this article can be really helpful for these people if they suffer from a foot drop.

What is Foot Drop?

Foot drop can result after a stroke and cause people to drag their toes when they walk. This results in the body's loss of muscle control either due to weakness or paralysis. As a result, people may exhibit what is known as a "high steppage" gait to compensate for this condition. A "steppage" gait happens when someone tries to lift their knee higher than normal, so they can clear their foot more easily when they take a stride.

Is There Treatment For A Foot Drop Due to a Stroke?

Yes. People do not necessarily have to live with a gait deviation and do nothing about it. You do have options. Two conservative treatment options can work very well for people that suffer from foot drop, due to a stroke. Traditional AFOs and the WalkAide are two devices that medical professionals use to help people walk better again after a stroke.

A.) AFOs (ankle foot orthoses)

What is an AFO? - An AFO is a brace that is made by a specialist in orthotics, known as an orthotist. These individuals can fabricate a brace for you that will help lift your foot when you walk. These braces can also help to provide support to your ankle in the coronal plane (side to side stability), while also providing indirect support to the knee, if you need it.

B.) WalkAide

This is a more new, FDA approved medical device, that can assist with foot drop as well. When people have suffered form a stroke and some other debilitating conditions the WalkAide is an alternative device that can be used for the benefit of a patient. What happens is that this device provides electrical stimulation and in turn, the foot can be raised when a person walks. This can eliminate the need for an AFO for patients and help people get on with their lives again. It can work well for many people, but not everyone is a candidate for this type of device.

Note: This is health information. Not medical advice. For medical advice about bracing or the Walkaide, it is best to consult a licensed orthotist in your area. These individuals are credentialed medical professionals that work with both AFOs and the WalkAide.

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