Thursday, April 28, 2011

The WalkAide - Product Review

The WalkAide is a new FDA approved medical product that can simply help people walk better. How? - This medical device provides FES (functional electrical stimulation) to help people with foot drop clear their foot as they walk.

Who Can Use The WalkAide?

Patients who have foot drop can benefit from the use of this device. More specifically, people who will benefit the most from this medical device are those that have suffered drop foot due to certain conditions. These conditions include, brain or spinal diseases, a CVA (stroke), MS (multiple sclerosis), a spinal cord injury, TBI (traumatic brain injury), brain tumor or CP (cerebral palsy).

Why It Is Different Than "Traditional" AFOs (Ankle Foot Orthoses)

First, an AFO is a brace that helps people walk better. It is typically, made from plastic and is designed to help people walk better. Typically, this is a custom made brace, but it can come in a prefabricated designs as well. - The WalkAide reportedly analyzes the movement of a patient's leg and foot, with "advanced sensor technology". The WalkAide will then send an electrical signal to a patient's peroneal nerve, which is located in the lower leg. In specific, this nerve is located in the outside aspect of the lower leg and helps to control movement in the foot and ankle.

How Does A Person Get A WalkAide?

This is a medically prescribed device, from your physician. After the device is medically prescribed, the patient needs to be evaluated by a credentialed and medical trained individual, such as an orthotist. - This device is not bought at stores, like other devices can be, such as a walking cane.

How Long Does A Patient Use The WalkAide?

According to the WalkAide site, this device can be worn all day. However, patients must remove it and turn off the WalkAide prior to going to bed at night. This only makes sense if the device is going to be used for walking anyways. Depending on usage levels, the WalkAide will need to have batter relpacements every one, two or three weeks. Reuseable batteries would be nice in a case like this.

The WalkAide is also not water proof.

Note: This is health information. Although it is good information, it is best to get medical advice about this device from your local, licensed orthotist or medical professional. Many people are candidates for this device, but not all people with foot drop will be able to use the device effectively.

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