Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Walk Aid - Lose the AFO

http://www.hemifoundation.org

Here is a device that we are in trial now with Jessie. I'm not sure if is going to be a good device or not, but the concept is fascinating. It is called "Walk Aid" and is by Innovative Neurotronics. We are going to be doing a trial on it for 2 or 3 weeks and then buy one if it appears to be doing any good.

The way it works, is a little cuff fits around the leg, just below the knee. It send s a small electrical pulse to the nerve, that in turn triggers the muscle to cause the foot to dorsiflex. Because of this action, an AFO is not needed. In theory. The other really cool thing, is that it is supposed to teach the brain how to do this...not just do the work. I tend to be very skeptical about devices like this, but we're keeping an open mind, and I'll be sure to report back.

One downside, is that this puppy runs about $4,500, and we're not sure whether insurance will pay or not. If I knew for sure that it would work, no problem with the money, but when you think that it may just be another product praying on the hopefullness of parents of a child with a brain injury...well then the price tag is a bit harder to digest. I feel certain that we will buy it regardless.

You can watch a demo video here from their website. http://www.walkaide.com/

Or watch Jessie below. Notice carefully that it is indeed causing her to dorsiflex. She is walking rather funny here, but she is just getting used to it. She doesn't walk like this all the time when she is wearing it.



4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hip, Hip, Hooray! Have great faith... it WILL work!!

RN2B said...

I know a few people who have tried it. Worked for one of them and not the other 2 (all 3 are adults with spinal cord injuries).

Good luck!

Cindy said...

Hi - I am Angel Fort's Grandma - Angel enjoyed being around Jessie during Noize camp this summer (I was recovering from surgery)...I finally found Jessie's blog!

Now I will try to keep up!!!

Hope the walk aid is going great -

Blessings,
Cindy

Jennifer said...

Hi! It was great to meet you in person tonight. I am sure that it is weird to have strangers walk up to you and introduce themselves and know you and you not have a clue about them!!!! I have been inspired by your journey and have felt honored to pray for Jessie over the past year. It was so good to see her in real life, she is doing so awesome...what a miracle and a testimony to prayer!