The Today show had a woman with MS on who is walking thanks to an ambulatory device called the "Bioness L 300". She was previously walking very unsteadily with a cane, had much trouble doing steps, lost ability to run and ride a bike etc. With this device which consists of a heel sensor and a thing which wraps around the knee, the nerves and muscles get stimulated and allows a person to walk unassisted. She even jogs again, and hikes up mountains.
If you go on the Today show website, you can look at the show excerpt. Her name is Johnna.
They also had a doctor on from Weil Cornell Medical Center who also has used the device in many MS patients. It is especially good for those with spinal cord involvement. The doctor said it rents for 500 per month and can be purchased for about 6,000 dollars. But at least you can rent it to see if it works for you.
Hope it can help someone!! My friend called to tell me about it.
what do you guys think about this? you could maybe? get rid of the AFO's?
I cried when I saw the video becuase when she walked without the device in that short clip of her going up the stairs in the beginning... that's how i walked this fall without my braces. Thank goodness for the AFO's. I'm so happy for technology. who knows, maybe this is an option in the future.
Wow. That is amazing. I wish my grandmother--who is still living strong at 91 with PPMS, dx'd when she was about 30--had had something like this when we were all younger. It would have kept her ambulatory a lot longer.
But, I'm not sure if it would help me or not. How do you know if you have foot drop or if foot drop is causing your problems?
I think I have it a little because I do occasionally drag a foot or clip my toes on the ground (and even more occasionally trip on something due to this), but I'm not sure that's the major thing that makes me walk badly or not be able to run.
I also get so I can't climb stairs if I'm tired. I sort of half pull myself up with my arms. Is that foot drop or something else?
It was interesting that they showed that her balance was improved. I would love that, too.
And also that she didn't have to wear the device all the time now. She said she thought it was because her muscles were stronger, but maybe there could be some neuroplasticity going on, too?
I was invited to a clinic last summer to be evaluated for this, and my neurologist felt that I was a good candidate. I didn't do it, because I had other stuff going on in my life. But, I find that I am not wearing my AFO because I have yet to find a pair of shoes that it's comfortable in. It is such a hassle!
My foot drop is due to spasticity and not to weakness of the ankle dorsi flexor. Maybe I will give Hanger a call and see when the next clinics are.
I have not posted in a long time, but this post brought some information I received this fall.
I received the "Fall 2008 Momentum" magazine and it has an article dedicated completely to the the new devices you are talking about. It is called "Consumer Alert: Two new devices for foot drop" This article explains how the study was conducted and who would benefit more from the device.
You may find the article at nationalmssociety.org/magazine and read the pros and ccons of these devices
If you decide that this is the device for you, make sure that you get fitted by a licensed professional.
Good luck to those who would try it. I still need to stick to my MAFO's and the other assisting devices I use.
hi there, just a comment on the AFO's and finding shoes... I took them with me to most every shoe store in town. I've finally found a pair of dr. shole's tennis shoes that are comfy... I was told to always look for a size bigger and a size wider than my regular foot size. I also fit decently into an old pair of tennis shoes, i just had to remove the soles ( i was told to do this on all my shoes that i wear my AFO's in and it made a big diff).
Also, this may be off the subject too, but I found that at Target I can find fun knees sock that are good to wear under the AFO's and are not expensive... I have at least 15 pairs of stripes, plain and polka-dotted socks to wear with my AFO's... they also have one's long enough to go up to your thighs to wear with the KFO's I think. I fold mine down over my velcro at the top to keep it from rubbing on my clothes, very handy and fun colored. :) I showed them to my doctor and he now reccommends them for his patients with AFO's or with leg swelling too, they are nice and snug but not too tight and normal looking. :)
Just thought I'd share.
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