WalkAide

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

WalkAide year anniversary

Postby cas » Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:36 pm

It has been a year since I start using the WalkAide. I wear it most of the day with the exception of exercising. I did (and still do) notice an increase in my energy level. With the increase in energy, I am able to exercise longer hence building more strength and just do more in general. The pain in my knees and hips are long gone. I can sit with legs crossed and sleep in a fetal position. My back rarely hurts anymore. Unfortunately, I would still consider myself “housebound” but not as much as before the WalkAide. I manage much better around the house. I don’t sit in the car all the time when my spouse goes into a store. When I do go into a store though, it is for a short time. My gait is slow but I have more control. I can walk longer distances but not long enough to accomplish any meaningful tasks. For example, I am not able to walk to the grocery store three blocks away. I have poor balance so I use a cane so as not to exhaust myself trying to steady myself. Heat, humidity, stability and stiffness continue to be problems. I stretch often and don’t like sitting for long periods of time (especially in a car). I still have found walking barefoot wearing the WalkAide is very uncomfortable. I need to wear good shoes but can get away with a pair of Keds now when my feet get warm. Since I began wearing the WalkAide, I have had to raise the stimulation to about 1 ½ (up from 1). What has changed is that I am taking Ampyra (a recently approved drug to improve walking in MS patients). I’ve only been taking Ampyra for about a month. It has helped to improve my energy level a bit morel. I don’t know if over time the drug will do even more for me. I tend not to want to know too much so as not to have unrealistic expectations. I follow up with my neurologist in a few weeks.

To sum up, the WalkAide has improved my quality of life from where it was (though far from pre-diagnosed). I have more energy. I still have to learn how to trust the WalkAide more. I try not to thrust my good leg forward but rather propel both legs with equal speed and stride. It is difficult (but better) trying to control the eversion. I still have to think about every step. It is sooo difficult breaking bad habits. :)
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WalkAide

Postby hntgmama » Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:13 pm

Cas and Sharon....I have been reading your posts and I am very interested in them. I had a stroke in Sept. 08 which has affected my right side and have drop foot in the right foot. I did a free clincal trial two weeks ago of the WalkAide and could not belief the results I instantly got. The only thing holding me back though is my insurance will not pay for it and the price Hangar has quoted me is $4890 with a one year warranty. Would you mind telling me the details of price and warranty on yours?

I have to use a cane when I am out and about. I cannot do curbs by myself or steps without rails so, I always look for the handicap slants they put out for wheelchairs. I know too what you mean about not able to do what you use to be able to do.....walking the airport I now have to get a wheelchair to the gates! I just got back from Alaska doing a land/cruise and did pretty well considering but very tired come evenings. Lot of walking involved but, I did it and made me feel good that I pushed myself to keep up with everyone.

Sure would appreciate any information you could give me on your dealings since your last postings and how each of you are doing.

Thanks,
hntgmama
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WalkAide

Postby cas » Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:38 pm

hntgmama,

I made an appointment with the rehabilitation center I had previously gone to in the past to discuss the WalkAide. The orthotist informed me that all previous requests to insurance companies to cover the WalkAide had been indeed denied. She submitted my claim anyway and I very quickly received a letter from my insurance company that I was denied. I was confident that the WalkAide could improve the quality of my life so I doled out the money (around $4700). I was reviewing my Explanation of Benefits and was astonished to see that my insurance company was processing my claim! I called the rehab institute's finance department and they were indeed waiting for a check and also were perplexed as to why my insurance company was covering the WalkAide afterall. As soon as they received a check from my insurance company, they would issue me a refund. And they did.

I am not sure about warranty information. The orthotist doesn't seem to have much information either. I haven't asked much because I just wanted to concentrate on working with the WalkAide. I know that sounds irresponsible. All my appointments with the orthotist have been covered by Innovative Neurotronics. However, the subsequent gait training I received was covered by my insurance company (and the co-pays by me).

I don't know who will cover the costs of a new cuff, electrodes or if the WalkAide unit needs replacement/repair. I have an appointment with the orthotist in a few months and will ask her then.

The entire process has been exhausting. I have been fortunate. The best to you.

p.s. Unless Sharon is a frequent reader of this forum, she won't know to reply to you. You replied to a post of mine (that is how I knew to reply to you). Reply to any of Sharon's posts with your questions.
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Walkaide

Postby hntgmama » Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:46 pm

Cas,

Thanks so much for replying. Everything you have said sounds great and now I must make my decision on whether to dole out the $4890 or continue waiting to see if the price will drop anymore. Hope everything continues to work well for you.

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Postby naychergirl » Fri Jul 23, 2010 7:28 am

My son just told me about this device yesterday. I didn'y know such a thing existed. I researched it a bit, but I was skeptical. But by reading your posts, I want one! Did you guys have to go through your neuo to get the RX?
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Walk-Aide

Postby hntgmama » Fri Jul 23, 2010 7:45 am

Naychergirl....Yes, I got a prescription from my MD but you can get it from your Neuro. The only bad thing is Insurance will not cover it so, be prepared to pay out of pocket for it. Good luck and let me know how it goes.....

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WalkAide

Postby cas » Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:28 pm

I believe the regulation differs from state to state in obtaining a WalkAide. I already had a relationship with a rehabilitation institute. I figured that was the logical place for me to start the inquiry. I ultimately saw an orthotists. I hope that helps.
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