Orthotic Foot Drop Device Makes Running a Reality

There is an amazing orthotic device that helps children with foot drop.

Children with foot drop may have the condition because of disease, a physical condition, or an injury. Regardless of the cause of foot drop, orthotics may help children move more easily and with greater control.

Many children who use an orthotic device called a WalkAide not only have success with improved mobility, but they actually like wearing it. A 2014 study of children with Cerebral Palsy conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that 90 percent of participants preferred using the WalkAide rather than a brace or opted for no intervention post-treatment.

Additionally, participants showed kinematic improvements after using the Pediatric WalkAide System for four months. This kind of continuous improvement would not be typical of conventional bracing to help with mobility.

A Pediatric WalkAide System is a light unit worn just below the knee specially programmed for each child. As a Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) device, the WalkAide works by actually stimulating the nerve that lifts the foot.

Children are able to operate the device with one hand and can even decide whether to walk with footwear or go barefoot. They can also decide whether to walk up or down stairs or even to step sideways.

Watching children use a WalkAide is remarkable as it helps them achieve a very natural, balanced and efficient gait.

This YouTube video shows a five-year-old girl named Zoey using a WalkAide and immediately demonstrating more control and much more stability even as she runs.

As Zoey’s mother observes, the child takes very purposeful steps and doesn’t look as though she will fall.

Children with foot drop because of Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, stroke, incomplete spinal cord injuries, hereditary spastic paraplegia, or traumatic brain injury may benefit from new orthotic technology like the WalkAide.

We understand that affording some of the latest orthotic devices can be a challenge for many families. For this reason, we accept a wide variety of health insurance plans and have the flexibility to work out individualized extended payment plans to help our clients get the orthotics they need.

Visit Teter Orthotics & Prosthetics to see if a custom orthotic like the WalkAide will help with foot drop. We’ve been providing expert orthotics services in Michigan since 1955 and have more than 20 locations, including Traverse City, Cadillac, Petoskey, and Marquette.

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