Monday, September 28, 2009

Walk Aid - After several Weeks of Use

Now that Jessie has had some time to practice with the Walk Aid, electrical stimulation walking device, she is getting better. Notice that she is not wearing an AFO, and notice the dorsiflexion (sp?) that she is getting without an AFO to hold her foot up. This is all done throught he little device that she is wearing below her knee. It also appears to be reducing the hyper-extension of her left knee.

Texas Tech Jessie

Even with a 2-2 Start for the Red Raiders, Jessie is still the biggest fan.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Walk Aid - Lose the AFO

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.

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.

Jessie Learning how to stop on her bike

Here is a nice video of Jessie learning how to stop on her bike. Now and then she leans the other direction and falls over, but she is getting better and better at stopping and learning to her strong side.

Now if we can just teach her to get started by herself. That will most likely take a few months. Hopefully before Christmas.