WalkAid - footdrop

Discuss physical medical devices that can be used to treat or improve MS symptoms

WalkAid - footdrop

Postby Frank » Fri Nov 16, 2007 3:45 am

This is a summary of a discussion that started in the "Suggestions" forum befor the "Medical Devices" forum became available:

chrishasms wrote:You kicked but on the Revimmune one, so I got another question for you.
I use a device called the Walkaide. If you want to look into it please check out my site at www.chrishasms.com or www.walkaide.com I use this device and it's for folks with foot drop. It's given me back a huge portion of my life, and I would love for other people to see this device. It works for people with Stroke, MS, Cerebal Palsy...etc. I was just at the convention for MS in Dallas and we had people actually cry when they saw it!

I ask this because we are becoming a community of users and are looking for a launching platform to let people know it exists. It's getting great word of mouth but not quick enough for the good it does. I can actually walk again so it's a huge quality of life advantage.
Let me know your thoughts.


mom10789 wrote:how much is it


chrishasms wrote:Depends on where you are in the country, if you want to buy it outright or make payments. I've been told the payments can be made over a 5 year period if needed.
The reason I asked for the community page is because I know of 30 people my therapist has put on this device. At the Dallas MS conference I was asked by one of the big whigs-(I'm sorry but you have blond hair and are so nice and used the wheelchair) I forget names until I have heard them more than 10 times (good 'ol MS)- she asked me to ask the administrators for a topic.
I'm sorry, I forgot to tell you the price lol-mine was 4500. I have heard people tell me 4000 and as high as 4800. All I know is I can move a foot without the device on and it was dead to me in May. It's worth it. There is video on my site of me at the MS Walk pushing my wheelchair using it. I'm looking forward to this May and the Walk here because I'm going to walk as much as I can. I walked through the Dallas and Denver airports and used my chair as a luggage rack. In May when I first got the thing I couldn't walk 25 feet without being exhausted. I feel it's got a definite therapeutic effect.
Take it for what you want but I'm not getting paid to say this.


Sharon wrote:Depends on where you are in the country, if you want to buy it outright or make payments. I've been told the payments can be made over a 5 year period if needed.
The reason I asked for the community page is because I know of 30 people my therapist has put on this device. At the Dallas MS conference I was asked by one of the big whigs-(I'm sorry but you have blond hair and are so nice and used the wheelchair) I forget names until I have heard them more than 10 times (good 'ol MS)- she asked me to ask the administrators for a topic.
I'm sorry, I forgot to tell you the price lol-mine was 4500. I have heard people tell me 4000 and as high as 4800. All I know is I can move a foot without the device on and it was dead to me in May. It's worth it. There is video on my site of me at the MS Walk pushing my wheelchair using it. I'm looking forward to this May and the Walk here because I'm going to walk as much as I can. I walked through the Dallas and Denver airports and used my chair as a luggage rack. In May when I first got the thing I couldn't walk 25 feet without being exhausted. I feel it's got a definite therapeutic effect.
Take it for what you want but I'm not getting paid to say this.


chrishasms wrote:There ya go!! We are working like hell on trying to get this covered by insurance. I'm hoping they start the forum on here just so we can start to keep track of just how many of us there are.

If you know of people using it, let them know about my site, their site, and this one!

You are correct. I've gained muscle and gotten back some normal motion. Crazy thing is, I got Botox in my Calv muscle for Clonus. It was suppose to deaden the muscle and I can actually stand on my toes with that muscle now. So even with the deadener, I'm using the whole lower leg better. Now I may be biased but I know what my leg used to be like.

One lady in Dallas said to me, "And to think I actually went through the pain and work of physical therapy!" LOL. We both got a kick out of it. From what I understand they are now starting to use these in PT as well.


Sharon wrote:I am in the process of evaluating the WalkAide and the Bioness products. Last week I was "programmed" for the WalkAide and I am quite impressed with the results. Obviously, each one of us have our own personal issues and therefore might not respond the same. I have not tried the Bioness product yet, but I have talked at length to customer service and I now have a video and packet to review.

My impressions so far:

The WalkAide does not require a shoe - I can go barefoot in the river if I want (for me, this would be a delight); it is one (1) item; you can try the WalkAide for thirty days - return it and get 80% of the cost refunded (about$3600); there is a one (1) year warranty; you can pay for it by using the CareCredit Patient Payment which offers a 3,6,12 or 18 month payment plan interest free and other plans with a fixed payment and 9% interest ( I would imagine Bioness would offer similar thru the Care Credit); the technician will meet with my PT so that she may also do an evaluation before I decide to buy; follow-up visits are not an extra $; it is about $1500 cheaper than the Bioness.

The Bioness requires a sensor to be placed on a "good" shoe (sorry, no sandals) and you also carry a hand-held control unit(this turns the unit on or off and adjusts the stimulation intensity) The WalkAide is turned on and off on the cuff, and the stimulation intensity and the exercise mode is also on the cuff. I personally like having one item instead of three items.
The Bioness is about $6900; you can rent for a period of 60 days (I think) for about $500 per month. You need a prescription from your doctor before you try out (WalkAide you can try out without a prescription). Now, about the sensor and the change of walking surfaces - this intriques me and I do have a slight concern with the WalkAide (I plan on trying the WalkAide on uneven grass similar to something you might find on a golf course).

So, from my personal perspective I am leaning towards the WalkAide - I will update you at the end of the week.

Sharon


chrishasms wrote:I got the Walkaide and now I do walk in grass! I just couldn't hang in it with the foot drop. Now....pfffft peanuts!


Brainteaser wrote:Chris' started quite an interesting topic here.

Just thinking about Sharon's wish to go wading barefoot in the river, I suppose the next generation of these walking devices might be something actually built into the body itself. Rather than being a device attached to the outside of the body, they might comprise a couple of small and strategically placed chips inserted surgically under the skin.


chrishasms wrote:Doing it and testing that exact thing in Belgium I believe it was. A chip in your Calv muscle.

My mind isn't as sharp as it used to be. 3 separate pieces for me to try to remember would suck. I know I would set that remote down and leave it somewhere.

I've never been in a situation where a different level of stimulation would matter to me. In the morning I need it a little stronger so I set it on 4. Within a half hour, or after using the exercise mode, I set it on 1.5 or 2. I'm good the rest of the day.

I usually take it off at night and walk around without it.


Sharon wrote:Just another bit of information on the WalkAide that I did not mention and I do not believe that Chris has posted.

The WalkAide technology is based on a "tilt" sensor. So, during the swing phase of walking (affected leg is in the back or "tilted"), the sensor picks up the message and starts the ramping of the electrical stimulus to the muscles. The electrical stmulus also "ramps" down so you do not have the foot slap at the end of your step. I am thinking that this is similar to the sensor which the Ness 300 has placed in the shoe.

Any additions or thoughts on this Chris?

I did read someplace about a FES unit being placed under the skin, but this was an older technology and not user friendly. I was able to see some of the new technology used for prosthetic devices when I went to Hangar Prosthetics for my WalkAide evaluation. It was truly amazing what is available for people with paralysis, parapalegics, stroke vistims etc. So, I am sure that a FES unit under the skin is on the radar screen at some medical/engineering lab.

Sharon


chrishasms wrote:With the tilt sensor already built in, and the ramping built into the device, my foot and knee is in better shape than before.

I was worried about walking like Shaggy from Scooby Doo. My right knee was KILLING me before the Walkaide.

I got the Walkaide and that fixed the gait issue and hiking my leg and swinging it around. That in turn helped my back and my hip pain. It didn't help my knee though, because the fine muscle in the right leg that keeps me standing, but doesn't lock out my knee, well they don't work. It's either bent or locked out.

Marletta gave me a lift to use in my shoe and now my knee doesn't hurt anymore. So from the standpoint of getting my life back this device has been wonderful.

I assure you, having this all in one unit makes this livable. I'm telling you all this, we got MS and some of us can't remember stuff like we used too. I've lost my lift for my shoe, cell phone, keys, wallet, garage door opener and anything else minimal you can think of.

I've never misplaced this all in one unit. I'm not saying the other device isn't good but it's more expensive and more pieces. Maybe if you had a stroke and didn't need to keep track of anything it would be fine. I just can't guarantee I could keep it all together. I know me too well.


Sharon wrote:Chris --

I am so glad to hear that your hip hiking and the leg swing have started to resolve because this gives me hope that I will get similar results.

Thank you - your comments have been especially helpful.

Sharon


chrishasms wrote:If I could get the Hip Flexor Muscles to play ball in my right leg, my right leg would be perfect.

I still can't lift the leg much, weather that is from the spasticity or weakness in the right leg. The nice thing is at least my foot moves so I only need to worry about that. My leg works enough I can do stairs, but the things are still the bane of my existence.

I walked through the DIA terminal NOT of my own free will, more capable because of the Walkaide. I got left there by one of those people who don't speak MY language in MY country and have a job here. He decided my luggage, my wheelchair and me were at the end of the line. Never mind I was easily a quarter of a mile away or more. Left me there.

If it wasn't for that device I would have been like a turtle on my back.


Sharon wrote:I know what you mean about the hip flexors. Rolling Eyes My left side was so-o-tight a year ago but, Pilates has really helped me. Core strength is the main goal of Pilates - my hips are finally even! I still have problems with the hip flexors "firing" when I get muscle fatigue in some of the exercises. Tightness and spasticity can be helped by stretching and strengthening the muscle.

I would highly recommend the Pilates routine. I go to a private studio which is a bit more expensive than a community center. I like the smaller classes (5-6 people in comparison to 20 at the community center). The studio director is aware of the MS and helps me to accomodate some of the weakness.

Sharon
Treatment: Gilenya since 01/2011, CCSVI both IJV ballooned 09/2010, Tysabri stopped after 24 Infusions and positive JCV antibody test, after LDN, ABX Wheldon Regime for 1 year.
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Postby Sharon » Fri Nov 16, 2007 10:28 am

Thanks Frank for getting all the WalkAide and Bioness posts in the new Medical Device Forum!

Sharon
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